This service is believed to have been ordered by the Prussian East India Company as a gift for King Frederick II, who in 1750 founded the Company. It was based in the German port of Emden, and was disbanded in 1757 as a result of the Seven Years' War. In 1755, one of the four ships sailing for the Company, the Prinz von Preussen, which was taking some of this service from China to Emden, ran aground on the East Friesan island of Borkum, and the damaged pieces were salvaged, taken to Emden and offered at auction in 1764. For a detailed account of this service, see C. Le Corbeiller, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, 1974, pp. 80-83, and a soup-tureen as no. 32. About 153 pieces from this service were acquired in the late 19th Century by the Hohenzollernmuseum.
Similar plates to the present lot can be found in the British Museum, illustrated by R. Krahl and J. Harrison-Hall, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics, Taibei, 1994, no. 124, pp. 278-279, and by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, 1962, p. 195, cat. 195; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated Chinese Export Art and Design, London, 1987, no. 46; in the G. Hiard Collection, illustrated in colour by Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, fig. 14.32, p. 334; and in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, exhibited Chinese Export Porcelain, Hong Kong, 30 November 1989 - 27 February 1990, no. 106. A pair of yet rarer plates with these arms but with a Meissen-style gilt lacework border is in the Helena Woolworth McCann Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by C. Le Corbeiller, op.cit., no. 32, p. 81.
Other pieces from this service are in the Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, Kunstgewerbemusem, Berlin, Huis Doorn, Doorn, The Netherlands, and in the Hodroff Collection, amongst others. A wine cooler from this service was sold in these Rooms, 15 June 1999, lot 219, and a plate was sold, also in these Rooms, 15 November 2000, lot 296.