Christian Gottlieb Stiehl was appointed Saxon Court Gemcarver ('Hofsteinschneider') in 1753, working at the Electoral Mineralienkabinett until he received a state pension in 1780. Walter Holzhausen (Johann Christian Neuber, Dresden, 1935, p. 23) praised him as 'certainly one of the best masters of his time'. In contrast to his almost thirty years younger follower Johann Christian Neuber, Stiehl specialised in mounting the thinly cut semi-translucent stones à jour on the lids of his boxes, so that, from the outside, the upward reflection of the gold lining in the base gave a special warm shine to the semi-translucent stones on the cover. This procedure was nevertheless sometimes imitated by Neuber. The secret drawer containing the specification booklet hidden in the lower front mount and released by pressing a spring-catch in the rear bottom rim is also specific to Stiehl. Closest to the present box are the two Stiehl boxes from the collection of King Farouk (Sotheby's, Koubbeh Palace, Cairo, 13 March 1954, lots 700 and 705) and the box in the Palazzo Pitti, illustrated in Stephen Lloyd's exhibition catalogue Richard & Maria Cosway, Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1995, p. 48, fig. 7. Apart from these three circular boxes, two oval boxes by Stiehl are recorded, one in the Louvre, illustrated in S. Grandjean, Les tabatières du musée du Louvre, Paris, 1981, no. 434, and another one sold at Sotheby's, Geneva, 17 November 1997, lot 248, mentioned in Holzhausen (op. cit., fig. 51 and 53).
The two marks at the inside of the base are identical to those on a box by Neuber in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (gift of John Pierpont Morgan, inv. no. 17-190-1115) and may be Dresden town hallmarks.