Two rather rare and unusual Chinese export porcelain tea bowls and saucers made for the American Market, specifically ordered for Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846) of Cambridge MA. Each piece is decorated with a simple bucolic image of a cow within a roundel bordered with a chain of interlocked circles. The bovine decoration is actually commemorating (and perhaps advertising?) Dr. Waterhouse’s successful inoculation of his own children with the cowpox vaccine and their subsequent survival against smallpox. Although the treatment had been around since the early 1700s, it was still a rather frightening and controversial cure. Discussed and illustrated in Schiffer’s China for America, pages 174-175. One tea bowl and saucer and one breakfast bowl and saucer. Restored. Circa 1805.