It is not known why this service, decorated in the Chinese manner, is called the 'Damaskus' service. It has been suggested that the Emperor was given a plate as a present while travelling to the Orient (he visited the Damaskua, capital of the Asian-Turkish province Syria in 1898).
The first documented large delivery of 530 flat plates was made on 26th January 1904 and cost 9,540 Marks. The service, and two other services, were delivered in 1919 from the Neue Palais in Potsdam to Huis Doorn, and after the death of the Emperor back to Schloss Hohenzollern.
For a discussion of this service see Roland Peters, 'Porcelain by KPM in the Eastern Oriental style', Keramos (October 1995), Vol. 150, p.104. Over 900 designs of specimen plants were produced between 1903 and 1905, and these still survice in the KPM archive at Schloss Charlottenburg. The specimen plants used were partly Asian, partly European, and partly unidentifiable.