The present lot is one piece from a French porcelain state dinner, dessert, breakfast and tea service known as the "royal purple" or "Solferino" set. The patriotic pattern was designed by Mary Todd Lincoln in 1861 and later reordered in 1865 during the Johnson administration. The First Lady specified that the white porcelain was to have a scalloped edge and a hand- painted red-purple and gold rope border. The white center ground was to be decorated with clouds, superimposed with patriotic imagery: a spread-wing eagle atop the arms of the United States is entwined with a banner bearing the national motto E Pluribus Unum.
For related examples from the state service of Abraham Lincoln, see Margaret Brown Klapthor, Official White House China 1789 to the Present (New York, 1999), pp.82-89.