Series of these dishes, in four related patterns, were ordered in China in the 1720's with the arms of the principle towns and provinces of present-day Belgium and the Netherlands, plus the arms of England and France. 23 different arms seem to comprise each series. Documentary evidence of this order has yet to come to light, but C. Le Corbeiller has pointed out that the spellings suggest a Dutch clientele, and that the grouping suggests the borders of this region after the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1717 a Triple Alliance marked the new rapport of England, France and the Netherlands, and Le Corbeiller posits that the dishes may have commemorated this development. (China Trade Porcelain, pp. 37-39). Dr. C.J.A. Jorg notes that it is unclear why certain arms appear again and again, while other quite major centers like Haarlem and Leiden are not represented at all.
Though individual examples from each series have appeared on the public market periodically, a number of dishes have only been offered four times: the collection of the Duc de X..., Paris, the Palais Galleria, 27 June 1969; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 November 1973, lots 168 to 182; the collection of Benjamin F Edwards III, Christie's New York, 22 January 2002, lots 35 to 42; the collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III, part 2, Christie's, New York, 22 January 2003, lots 41-43.