This important charger is an example from a service one of the earliest Chinese export services bearing British arms, and was made for Thomas Pitt, Governor of Fort St. George and President of Madras in India between 1698 and 1709. He was known for his purchase of a diamond weighing 127 carats which was resold it to the Regent of Orleans. It later became the most precious stone in the Crown of France in 1722, and known as the 'The Pitt Diamond'. The crown was subsequently used for the coronations of Louis XV and XVI, and the diamond was later set into a sword for Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation as Emperor. The diamond currently is part of the French Crown Jewels in the Louvre, Paris.
An identical charger, previously in the collection of Mildred and Rafi Mottahedeh, was sold in these rooms, January 30, 1985, lot 72. For the arms and additional background on Thomas Pitt, see David Sanctuary Howard, Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I, London, 1974, p. 114 and 176, B1. Additional information regarding the Pitt services, see Angela Howard, 'The Pitt Services: Porcelain for a Political Dynasty', American Ceramics Circle Journal, Vol. XVIII, pp. 50-81.