The couple depicted on the dish is often referred to as Governor Duff and his wife, which is suggested to be the name the Chinese gave Diederick Duiver (1676-1740, Governor of the Dutch East India Company from 1729-1731), as they were unable to pronounce his name correctly. The same couple has also been described as Louis XIV and Mme de Montespan or simply a Frisian couple. Both D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer and M. Beurdely are in agreement, however, that the subject is Dutch rather than French.
For a further discussion on Duff, see D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinese Export Porcelain, London, 1974, p. 137 and fig. 203 for a similar example in the Rijsmuseum. For a plate with a different border and details in underglaze blue, cf. D.S. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, 1994, p. 62, pl 37. Both versions of this plate and a lacquer commode are illustrated in Hervout & Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes Dcor Occidental, pp. 152-153.