This service was believed to have been made for the Portuguese family Caldeira and indeed the arms are very similar. However, documented evidence in the possession of descendants of the Florentine family of Ginori has changed opinion. There is still a Portuguese connection since several members of the Ginori family lived in Lisbon in the 17th and 18th Centuries and documents show that this service was shipped from Goa to Lisbon in 1699 for the Ginori family. For a detailed discussion on the Ginori family and its Portuguese association, see Perotto, Il Servito Ginori, Milan, 1988. See N. de Castro, Heraldry of the Empire, Oporto, 1988, p.43 for a similar dish and details of the Caldeira arms.
Two services with these arms are recorded: one as in the present lot, and the other with a very similar design, but with the arms interrupting the border. The foliage design is probably inspired by Delft wares of the late 17th Century, which influenced the ceramics of Spain and Portugal during that period and into the 18th Century. Dutch tiles with similar leaf scrolls were also imported into the Iberian peninsular, particularly for use in churches around the turn of the century. See C. Le Corbeiller, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, New York, 1974, p.35 for a discussion on the similarities between this service and a Delft armorial plate of circa 1700, fig.13, and no.14, p.34 for a smaller dish from the other service, which is in the Metropolitan Museum. A large dish from the other Ginori service was sold at Christie's London, 18 June 2002, lot 339. A similar dish to the present lot was also sold at Christie's King Street, 17 June 2003, lot 219.