The box, depicting the auspicious scene of the Eight Taoist Immortals gathering in a garden against a lapis blue ‘shaolan’ ground, was almost certainly made for the Thai market. It carries a wen yin (cash silver) mark and another for the workshop of the Canton silversmith and retailer Hui Yuan which specialised in silver for the Siam trade.
The box has a layer of copper sheet adding rigidity to the base – a common feature in Siamese silver that was adopted by Chinese silversmiths creating items for export.
It was dated by the Dreweatts cataloguer to c.1840-75.
Estimated at £600-800 at the auction on June 17, it sold via thesaleroom.com for £14,000.