The design for these Scottish highlanders, who were from the 42nd Foot Regiment, which later amalgamated with the 73rd and became known as the Black Watch, derive from a set of prints, engraved by George Bickham and published in 1743 by John Bowles of Cornhill. It is widely believed that they represent Rifleman Shaw and Piper Macdonnel, two Jacobite martyrs. The engraving of the piper was also to feature as the frontispiece for A Short History of the Highland Regiment of 1743. C. Le Corbeiller illustrates the Bickham engravings of both highlanders, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, New York, 1974, figs. 51 and 52, p.94 where she discusses interest in Highlanders in the 1740's and the Jacobite cause, and comments that these two highlanders have been also attributed to Alexander Munro, piper to Prince Charles Edward Stuart (aka the Young Pretender or Prince Charlie), and Private Hamilton, who was executed on Tower Hill at the time of the Rebellion of 1745. See ibid., no.38, p.95 for one of a pair of 'Scotsmen' plates in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Other plates are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, formerly in the Ionides Collection; in the Musée Guimet, illustrated by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, London, 1962, colour plate XIX, p.99; in the Zeeuws Museum Middleburg, illustrated by D. F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinese Export Porcelain, London, 1974, fig.205, p.221; in the Elvehjem Museum, Winconsin, from the Liebman Collection, illustrated by C. C. Brawer, Chinese Export Porcelain, Winconsin, 1992, colour plate IV, p.13, catalogue no.77; and in the National Museum of Scotland, illustrated by Susan Leiper, Precious Cargo, Scots and the China Trade, 1997, front cover. See also the Mottahedeh example, illustrated by Howard and Ayers, China for the West, vol.I, London and New York, 1978, pp.239 and 240, no.234, which was original purchased in these Rooms, 28 March, 1960, lot 44 and sold Sotheby's New York, 19 October 2000, lot 196. Others were sold in our New York Rooms, 21 January, 1998, lot 36, and 23-24 January 2002, lot 69. Compare the even rarer 'Jacobite' punch bowl, with these highlanders depicted on the exterior, which was sold in these Rooms, 6 April 1998, lot 151.