This service, decorated in underglaze blue and white and made for Charles Peers of Chiselhampton Lodge in England, is an interesting one and an important one in the history of China Trade porcelain.
It is interesting in that the design in the center of a bird perched on a rocky ledge is not found elsewhere, and it is a highly unusual design to be used in concert with a family crest, in this case, in heraldic terms, a "demi griffin segreant" for Peers.
It is important because it is one of only two known services for which the original invoice, this dated at Canton, China on December 10, 1731, exists. The invoice reads in part:
Invoice of Two Chests of China Ware, Laden on board the Ship Harrison, Capt. Samuel Martin, Commander, bound to the port of London and to go consigned to Charles Peers Esq. on his proper Aud. and Risque.
The invoice covers 524 pieces of porcelain, costing 228 taels or about £76 - a seemingly reasonable price, even in those days!
Charles Peers was the British Consul in Malaga for seven years. He later returned to London, where he was the Lord Mayor in 1715. He became a Commissioner of Customs and a director of the East India Company. The East India Companies of various countries were responsible for the ordering and transportation of so much of the China Trade porcelain of the 18th and 19th centuries.