This 200 year old patch box was on the Antiques Road show TV programme held at Bowood House recently.
No one has been able to solve the meaning of the numbers around the top.
There is an inscription around the lid edge, but unfortunately I don't know all the words around the edge.
The numbers seem to have a sort of sideways comma separator and also some numbers have a bar over the top.
Some numbers seem to be repeated (e.g. 45 and 288) which may mean repeated words?
Some of the numbers appear to be quite large, e.g. 288 or 88 or 83 which is puzzling.
It could be a straight alphabet code or possibly a code based on words and letters in the inscription written on the side. None of the words are very long from what I could see (largest was about 8-10 letters). It may even be from the bible! Who knows!
The TV program did not show all the words around the side. It was not read out but was reported to say 'something like' ...
'the ring is round and hath no end so unto my love now my friend' ???
It is difficult to make it out.
P.S. I don't know the answer to this. AFAIK, no one does!