In close to forty years in business, this is the first opportunity we have had the pleasure of offering one of the rarest and most desirable icons of the China Trade and early American history: a very fine Chinese export porcelain plate decorated with the emblem of the ‘Society of Cincinnati’. The Society was formed at the close of the Revolution by Major General Henry Knox for officers who had served three years or more in the Continental Army or Navy, as well as officers of certain rank in the French Army or Navy. The Society is still in existence today, its membership consisting of the direct male descendants of the original officers. One of these original members, Henry Lee, conceived of the idea of an extensive dinner service bearing the society’s insignia being held by a figure of Fame blowing her trumpet. He commissioned Major Samuel Shaw, the supercargo on the first American ship to trade with China, to order the dinner service(s) which he would share with General George Washington. Shaw returned on the ship PALLAS in 1785 with this order, of which this plate was part. The plate measures 9 5/8″ in diameter with a shaped and molded edge and a floral and butterfly border of underglaze blue, all centered with a finely rendered image of Fame and the Society’s insignia. In very fine condition with only the most minor of rim frits to the reverse, otherwise a superlative example. Bearing the collection sticker and inventory number on the reverse of Elinor Gordon of Vilanova, PA. Examples in the Metropolitan Museum and Winterthur to name a few. Circa 1785.