The crest of a marten, a rebus for the name Martin, suggests this service may have been made for the English merchant banking family of that name. See D. S. Howard, Chinese Armorial Porcelain, 1974, p.335.
The design, representing 'Autumn', has been taken from a set of allegorical depictions of the seasons, designed by C.P. Cipriani, engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi and published in 1780. A Chinese service with this crest but with a design representing 'Summer' is known to have been made, and it may well be that a further two services, with 'Spring' and 'Winter', were commissioned but no pieces have come to light to substantiate this. A detail of the engraving for 'Autumn', together with a chestnut dish with pierced cover from the McCann Woolworth Collection, are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, illustrated by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, 1962, cats. 63b and 63a; a pierced basket, copying a Wedgwood model, also from the McCann Woolworth Collection, but in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also illustrated by M. Beurdeley, ibid., cat.128. Compare also the smaller dish in the British Museum, exhibited Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics, Taipei, 1996, Catlaogue no.66; and a dish is illustrated by F. and N. Hervouët and Y. Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à Dècor Occidental, 1986, fig.13.97, together with a plate from the 'Summer' service as fig.13.96.