Rare early nineteenth century Canton ivory box. Napoleons tomb.



Rare early nineteenth century Canton ivory box showing Napoleons tomb.

This fascinating box was produced in Canton in China in the early part of the nineteenth century. The flourishing trade routes between China and Europe at this time meant that it was not unusual to have Oriental items of this period having a European theme. French sailors with time in dock would often place orders for snuff boxes, gaming boxes and other small items to take home with them. After Napoleions death in 1821, his body was initially buried on St Helena. Various drawings and prints were made of the site and it is likely that the image of the tomb shown on this box was taken from one of them. 

  This beautifully carved box is 4 cm in diameter and stands 3cm high. It has a hand carved thread allowing the lid of the box to be screwed on or off. It is in excellent condition, having no damage, loss or restoration and shows only light wear appropriate to its age and substance.