The miniatures are taken from a series of drawings by Jean-Guillaume Moitte, the cover depicting the legendary figure Coriolanus at the gates of Rome. He was permanently banished from Rome and later turned against the city by making allegiance with the Volscians, against whom he once fought. He persuaded them to break their truce with Rome and raise an army to invade, but when Coriolanus's Volscian troops threatened the city walls, Roman matrons including his mother, wife and children went to persuade him to call off the attack. The base depicts Cornelia Africana, the second daughter of Scipio Africanus, receiving a supplicant mother. The front depicts a sacrifice to the Roman god of war, Mars. The miniature on the reverse of the box depicts the Rape of the Sabine Women by the Romans. Inspiration for this scene is derived from the masterpiece by Nicolas Poussin, The Rape of the Sabine Women (1634-35). The right end panel derives from Marius at Minturnae (1786) by Jean-Germain Drouais in which Marius turns away the Cimbrian soldier sent to kill him by the sheer force of his will. The left panel represents Aeneas and Anchises, and the four cut-corners depict the personification of the four rivers of the Roman empire. A similar box by Joseph-Étienne Blerzy, Paris, of the same year 1789 with similar but unsigned miniatures on a red marbled ground is in the The Gilbert Collection (see C. Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, Los Angeles, 1991, no. 36, pp. 117-120). A third example, again of 1789, by Adrian-Jean-Maximilien Vachette and with classical subjects after Domenichino and Giulio Romano against a black background, was sold Christies, Geneva, 14 November 1995, lot 38.