A very handsome pair of Chinese export porcelain octagonal form plates, meticulously hand-painted en grisaille with the Arms of Vaughan impaling Hallowell within an elaborate rococo style cartouche and inscribed beneath Samuel Vaughan, the plate rims with delicate bird and landscape vignettes. This is one of three services made for this family and it holds both interesting English and American connections. Samuel Vaughan was a wealthy merchant and Jamaican plantation owner who married Sarah Hallowell of Boston in 1747. Their son, Benjamin Vaughan, though he couldn’t attend elite schools in England because the family were Unitarians, managed to be tutored by famous scientist Joseph Priestly and later graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in medicine. By the time he had immigrated to Hallowell, Maine in 1799 to land inherited from his mother, he had made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams. Living in remote Maine, he managed to keep a library of similar size to Harvard’s and he garnered degrees from both Harvard and Bowdoin College. The plates are in remarkably fine condition, with virtually no wear to the delicate grisaille decoration which was finely rendered to resemble the bookplate engraving that had been sent to Canton to copy. The bookplate, which is in fine condition and suitably framed, is not only an interesting design source pertaining to the commission of the dinner service, but itself was designed by Thomas Chippendale! The plates are illustrated and discussed in Schiffer’s China for America, page 34, as well as Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, vol. I, page 359. From a private Boston, Beacon Hill collection. Circa 1750.