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One of a set of four counter boxes: M.16 & A-Y-1938

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


One of a set of four counter boxes


Maker: Mariaval, Le Jeune




Rectangular, ivory box painted in colours on a magenta ground; the lid inscribed 'Je la doucis'

Ivory, engraved and painted in magenta, black pink and yellow, with gilt metal hinges. Rectangular, the base with straight sides. The moulded sides of the lid projecting slightly over the base. The two projecting hinges are pinned to a metal scroll inside the box. The upper surface and interior of the lid and the base are engraved in outline in black and painted on a magenta ground. The top of the lid is decorated with a roundel of Cupid at a grindstone, a heart held in his hands against the stone, and his right foot on the pedal. The scroll above the roundel is inscribed 'Je la doucis'. The roundel is surrounded by scrolling foliage, flowers, pendant garlands and a shell in green, pink and yellow. At each corner is a swag of green fruit on a pink stippled ground. The inside of the lid is decorated with a cockerel surrounded by green, pink and yellow scrolling foliage and flowers within a black border beneath which is the inscription 'Mariaval le Jeune a Rouen fecit'. The base is decorated with a pink, green and yellow spray of three flowers in a white border. The box contains 19 long narrow counters decorated on both sides with a floral design on a magenta ground, and six elongated octagonal counters decorated on both sides with a magenta floral border, and numbered in black '5', '10', '20', '30' '40' or '50'. Each counter is drilled with a small hole near the edge. (with M.14 & A-R-1938, M.15 & A-Z-1938 and M.17 & A-X-1938)


History note: S.E. Kennedy; Christie, Manson & Woods, 18-22 March, 1918, Important collection of objects of art, antiquities, armour and arms, on 22 March,

Legal notes

L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937

Measurements and weight

Height: 2.2 cm
Length: 8.5 cm
Width: 6.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Rouen ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1937) by Cunliffe, Leonard Daneham


18th Century, Early#
Circa 1720 CE - Circa 1730 CE


Mariaval le Jeune was an engraver on ivory in Rouen and in Paris in the early to mid 18th century. He designed the card game Reversino (Reversis) in which the object is to avoid winning tricks. This set of four boxes are probably intended for this game.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of painting

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Mariaval le Jeune a Rouen fecit
  • Location: Inside the lid
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: Je la doucis
  • Location: On the lid
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Motto
  • Text: B / 22 / L.?
  • Location: On the back between the two hinges
  • Method of creation: Ink on paper
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.16 & A-Y-1938
Primary reference Number: 166623
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 22 February 2022 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "One of a set of four counter boxes" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 13:34:01

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