The signature of I Rose on the collar of the Newfoundland (a capital I replacing the J for John) is documentary. See Michael Messanger, Coalport 1795-1726, Antique Collector's Club, 1995, color plate 15 and plates 92, 93, 94, 95 for pieces from a blue-ground dessert service and a panther-handled vase, each painted with animals taken from A General History of Quadrupeds, these set into more complete and detailed landscapes than are those on the present examples also attributed to John Rose and decorated independently. Rose relied heavily on such freelance painters for his production.
English by birth, Fred Harvey started a chain of fine restaurants offering good food and impeccable service at reasonable prices. Established along the route of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railrosd, the first opened in Topeka in 1876. It was quickly followed by sixteen others within seven years. At his death in 1901, the empire included forty-five restaurants and twenty dining cars in twelve states.
Harvey spared no expense in in his bid to bring fine dining elegance to the Southwest, importing porcelain services such as the present dessert service, glass, silver and linens from Europe. In 1881, he hit upon the marketing gimmick of replacing waiters with well-mannered attractive young women, known as 'Harvey Girls'. Harvey and his staff were immortalized in the 1946 Hollywood musical extravaganza of the same name starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.