The interior scene is taken from an engraving after Watteau, known as L'Aventurier, see Siegfried Ducret, Keramik und Graphik (Brunswick, 1973), p. 161, fig. 251.
Ralph Bernal's sale of the contents of his home at Eaton Square was held over thirty-two days and the Christie's catalogue produced for the auction was one of the earliest sales to be illustrated. In the introduction to the catalogue, J.R. Planché wrote, 'Distinguished amongst English Antiquaries by the perfection of his taste, as well as the extent of his knowledge...Mr. Bernal could be tempted by nothing that was inferior.' Apart from his varied collection of maiolica, porcelain and glass, he also owned fine examples of arms and armour, silver, jewellery, ivories, paintings and furniture.
See also the snuff-box of similar form from the Collection of Connal Wade Harris Esq, sold in these Rooms on 7 October 1985, lot 176.
The band of iron-red foliage is reminiscent of the 'salami' decoration on Meissen plates of circa 1730, see the examples sold in these Rooms on 11 December 2007, lots 21-24.