These plates are part of the dessert-service which was ordered as part of a larger service by Prince Napoleon (Napoleon-Joseph-Charles-Paul Bonaparte, 1822-91) in 1856, probably for his mistress, the tragic actress Mademoiselle Rachel (Rachel Félix, 1828-58). It is thought that the service was used in her salle à manger pompéienne in the 'Pompeian' house the Prince had built on the east side of the Avenue Montaigne in Paris. For a discussion of this see Aileen Dawson, 'French Porcelain' A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection (London, 1994), pp. 230-232, and pl. 189 and col. pl. 32 for a similar dessert-plate in the British Museum. As the rouge décor étrusque service was delivered on 18th October 1856, one of these plates (with a date code for 1861) must have been made as a replacement for the service. A similar example with the same central subject as the second plate, but with a different border, was sold at Christie's South Kensington on 7th June 1996, lot 201, and other examples, one with the same border as the present plates, were sold in the same Rooms on 4th November 1999, lots 93-95.