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Box

  • Place of origin:

    Guangzhou (made)
    China (made)

  • Date:

    about 1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood veneered with mother-of-pearl

  • Museum number:

    392 to D/3-1878

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This box is made of wood and covered with mother-of-pearl. Inside are three smaller boxes full of counters, used in Europe for keeping the score and as stakes in gambling games. The counters are incised with the arms of the Best family, members of whom were involved with trade between Europe and Asia throughout the 18th century. They ordered Chinese porcelain for their own use on at least two occasions. This box was probably ordered by them in 1775.

Physical description

Wood box veneered with mother-of-pearl, oblong shape, partly pierced with floral designs, inside with three smaller boxes enclosing gaming counters incised with the arms of the Best family: 25 circular, 43 long oblong, and 44 short oblong.

Place of Origin

Guangzhou (made)
China (made)

Date

about 1775 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Wood veneered with mother-of-pearl

Dimensions

Height: 6 cm, Width: 24.5 cm, Depth: 13.5 cm

Object history note

Inside are three smaller boxes full of counters, used in Europe for keeping the score and as stakes in gambling games. The counters are incised with the arms of the Best family, who were involved with trade to Asia throughout the 18th century, and who ordered Chinese porcelain for their own use on at least two occasions. This box was probably ordered by them in 1775.

Descriptive line

Box, wood veneered with mother-of-pearl, Guangzhou, China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign period (1736-1795), about 1775

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Clunas, Craig. Chinese Carving. London: Sun Tree Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996. p. 32, fig. 26.
Clunas, Craig (ed.). Chinese Export Art and Design. London: V&A Publications, 1987. pp. 100-101, no. 78.

Labels and date

78
BOX FOR GAMING COUNTERS
Carved mother of pearl on a wood core
About 1775
13.5 x 6 x 24.5 cm
392-1878 [pre 2005]

Materials

Wood; Mother-of-pearl

Techniques

Carved; Pierced

Categories

Containers

Collection

East Asia Collection

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