The price suggested bidders were confident it was 18th century rather than a later copy.
The box, with a crossed swords and KPM mark in underglaze blue, probably dates from the mid-1720s. It is painted in the manner of Johann Gregor Höroldt with a series of ‘Böttger lustre’ cartouches enclosing chinoiserie scenes in puce orange, iron red and black. To the base is a purpurmalerei scene of Oriental figures in discussion.
A similar group of Höroldt style boxes, many with KPM marks, were re-issued by Meissen from the 1830s onwards, primarily for export to England. Typically these bring more modest sums.
An early Meissen dish in this on October 14 sale had been acquired by the vendor at Bonhams in 2012. Painted with the arms of Saxony and Poland surrounded by scattered flowers and banded hedges in kakiemon style, this formed part of the coronation service that was probably ordered for the crowning of Friedrich August II of Saxony as king of Poland in Cracow on January 17, 1734.
The service – the first Meissen armorial table service – was presumably intended only for display as silver was used on the royal table. When delivered to the Japanese Palace in Dresden in 1734, it comprised 77 parts in total, including 37 of these 18in (25cm) plates.
This example, in good condition apart from some wear to the gilding, has a wheel-engraved inventory number for the palace. Sold for £10,000 plus 25% premium a decade ago, this time it brought £9000.