The present twelve plates were part of a diplomatic gift from King Louis XVI to Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea Ximiez de Urré, Comte d' Aranda, Spanish Ambassador-Extraordinary to France and principal advisor to Carlos III, King of Spain. This generous gift marked the conclusion of his ambassadorship (1773-1787). He had been a successful reformer and man of enlightenment, forming friendships with Diderot and Voltaire while living in Paris. His progressive views were paired with a love for lavish entertaining and socialising. This extensive service, with its richly executed ornament, was one of the most expensive with non-figural decoration, costing a total of 43,428 livres. The use of a beau bleu ground is particularly significant in that this was the ground colour selected for Louis XVI's own service, now in the Royal Collection and on display at Windsor Castle.
Following Louis XVI's imprisionment and execution, the Comte d'Aranda's enlightened leanings were seen as incompatible with the war that was declared against revolutionary France. He was removed from office and following a brief period of imprisonment and the threat of trial before the Inquisition, he died at Epila.
The service entered the Spanish Royal Collection through Don Carlos who became Charles IV. Substantial parts of the service were then divided and sold in the 19th Century, the first of these being the sale from the apartments of Don Carlos in Madrid at Christie's on 11 March 1836, which included forty-eight plates in six lots. A further selection of the service from the collection of the Late Captain Charles Spencer Ricketts appeared at Christie's on 13 June 1867, which included twenty-eight plates in two lots. A further part service from the Lord Revelstoke Collection was sold on 28 June 1893, lot 366 to a Mr. C. Davis. Several pieces from the service have made their way on to the open market in recent years, in particular the plate from the Charles-Otto Zieseniss Collection sale at Christie's Paris on 5 and 6 December 2001, lot 210 and the example from the Pompey Collection sale at Christie's New York on 23 May 2002, lot 56.