A really fine pair of Chinese export porcelain shaped dinner plates meticulously hand-painted in a raspberry enamel, each with a central scene of a ship flying what appears to be a Dutch flag ailing through choppy seas towards a city on the horizon, most likely Amsterdam, one of the premier China Trade ports of the world at this time. The very linear rendering, almost certainly taken from a engraving of the period, is encircled with a border of a snake swallowing its own tail. This ancient emblem originated in Egypt and is called an ouroboros and it denotes the repetitive cycle of creation arising out of destruction. How this image ended up on a piece of Chinese porcelain with a European maritime image is cause for further speculation. What is more keeping with the period of the plate is the charming scrolling and foliate and gilded spearhead borders. Both plates measuring 9″ in diameter and in great condition with only slight re-touch to minimal stacking wear. Fantastic maritime images of the China Trade. Mid-18th century.