Spa was at the beginning of the 18th Century a fashionable resort in the Low Countries for rich Europeans seeking cures from the waters. Lacquer and japanned wares were produced in Spa, to satisfy the demand for fashionable products in the chinoiserie taste. Interestingly, during the season about five hundred workers were kept busy producing a various range of objects often inlaid or decorated with gilt chinoiseries on a black background, including snuffboxes, toilette boxes and other containers. In his pamphlet published in 1689, the physician Edmond Nessel specifically relates the work done with mother-of-pearl, ivory, tortoiseshell, pewter and copper inlay, and refers as well to the Boulle technique used. A related example in the Muse Communal, Spa, is illustrated in H. Huth, Lacquer of the West, London, 1971, fig. 299, while another related box was sold in Christie's New York, 'The Eclectic Eye', Galerie Yves Mikaeloff, 21 May 1997, lot 356, (USD11.500).