The Arabesque and Yacht Services are among the most important services made during the reign of Emperor Catherine II, both similar in style and ornamentation. Commissioned in 1784 and 1787 respectively, the Yacht Service was only finished during the reign of Emperor Paul I and may have been used as an addition to the Arabesque service.
The service took its name from arabesques in the Pompeian style used to decorate the pieces. The allegorical figures that are painted in the middle of the plates are meant to illustrate the glory of the reign of Empress Catherine the Great. For more information on the Arabesque and Yacht Service, see N. B. von Wolf, (ed. V.V. Znamenov), The Imperial Porcelain Factory, 1744-1904, St Petersburg, 1906, pp. 94-95 and pp. 110-111, and An Imperial Fascination: Porcelain - Dining with the Czars Peterhof, A La Vieille Russie, New York, 1991, pp. 33-35.