If you had enough money (and patience) you could have your order tailor-made to any design. This box and counters was made ciraca 1830 with the monogram SBR. The ivory box itself was exceptional in being made by one of the top craftsmen in Canton with superb carving. The lid slides off to reveal a tray holding a magnificent set of beautifully fretted small m-o-p counters with the matching monogram and character scenes.
The counters themselves are of a special and rare type - beautifully fretted with birds animals and flowers.
The monogram SBR was for the firm Spencer Browning and Rust - a London firm famous for the manufacture of navigational instruments - octants and sextants - used on many of the boats sailing out from London. The firm had an international reputation and has exhibits in numerous museums including the Smithsonian; it was founded in 1778 as Spencer and Browning and acquired its full name in 1784, continuing trading under that name till 1840. The counters themselves are delightful.
A super little piece of history. I wonder how many hundreds of hours went into creating this beautiful set?