Made for Major Samuel Shaw (1754-1794), supercargo on the Empress of China, the first American ship to reach Canton, having set sail from New York 22 February 1784. Major Shaw had been a wartime aide to both General Washington and General Henry Knox and was, like them, a founding member of the Order of the Cincinnati. On his first trip to Canton Shaw had commissioned the famous porcelain decorated with the Order of the new Society within underglaze blue borders (see lot 433). Shaw returned to China, eventually becoming the first United States Consul to Canton, and ordered by 1790 a Cincinnati service for himself with the then-fashionable grisaille floral sprigs. A punchbowl from his service in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is illustrated by Beurdeley, op. cit., cat. 217; a cider jug, a platter and a plate from the Claneil Foundation were sold Christie's New York, 14 October 1999, lots 100-102.