Ming or earlier The exteriors carved with guri scroll design through layers of red and black lacquer, the interiors lined with silver and in a later fitted case inscribed 'J.D.', each 11cm diameter
Provenance: The initials on the fitted case 'J.D.' refer to James Drummond, 8th Viscount Strathallan (17671851).
The Drummond family was attainted after James's grandfather, William Drummond the 4th Viscount, fought for the Jacobite cause and died at Culloden. Both James and his father, General Andrew John Drummond, served with The East India Company. The General was Chief of the British settlement in Canton during the 1790s before returning to Scotland.
James began his career as assistant to the Head of the Committee at Canton in 1792. By 1800 he was a member of the Select Committee there and the following year became President - a post he held until 1807 when he returned to Scotland, where two years later he married the daughter of the Duke of Atholl and in 1824 was restored to the titles forfeited by his grandfather.