The arms are those of Francisco Antnio da Silva Mendes da Fonseca, a merchant and land-owner, who for political reasons emigrated from Portugal to France, where he died in 1831. See N. de Castro, Chinese Porcelain and the Heraldry of the Empire, 1988, p.211. A dish and cover and a pair of dishes from this service were sold in these Rooms, 12 June 1978, lots 142 and 143.
The use of silver on Chinese porcelain commenced in the Yongzheng period, but with the exception of armorial porcelain ceased to be used soon after as a result of the silver oxidising by the time the porcelain arrived in Europe. It only continued to be used on armorial porcelain so that the arms were correctly depicted. This service was one of the last to be made which included silver on the arms.