The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia existed in the Baltic region from 1561-1569 as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569-1726 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was incorporated into the Commonwealth by the Polish Sejm in 1726. In 1795, the last Duke, Peter von Biron (1724-1800), ceded the Duchy to the Russian Empire. Although a different medal of Catherine the Great is incorporated into this box, it is clearly related to a series of boxes by Jean-Pierre Ador supposedly given by the Empress to her supporters who took part in the coup against her husband Peter III in 1762. One possible explanation is that the box with German, probably Berlin marks of c.1795, was ordered by Dorothea of Courland, who by then was living apart from her husband Peter von Biron, the last Duke of Courland. In the mid 1790s she was living mostly in Berlin and Thuringia while Courland was being absorbed into Russia. Such a box incorporating a medal, possibly given to her in the past by Empress Catherine, would demonstrate her respect and loyalty to the Russian ruler. There are three unidentified boxes with identical marks in the Louvre, S. Grandjean, Catalogue des tabatières, boîtes et étuis des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles du musée du Louvre, Paris, 1981, nos. 578, 579 and 580. For a bonbonnière with a medallion of Catherine the Great by Waechter, signed by Jean-Pierre Ador, see catalogue illustration and cf. A.V. Solodkoff, Russian Gold and Silver, 1981, pl. 183 and Going for Gold: Craftmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes, T. Murdoch and H. Zech (eds.), Victoria and Albert Museum, Sussex, 2014, pl. 9.8.