Kaiser Wilhelm II had a number of different patterns of tableware for use not only at his various palaces, but aboard his yacht, the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern, and even when traveling with the fleet aboard the S. M. S. Deutschland. I have seen many of them, but today’s offering is new to me. Germany’s colonial expansion to China engendered a great interest in that ancient country’s art and culture. Our plate comes from the so-called “Damaskus Service” and shows an oriental influence. The plate displays fifteen magenta panels that imitate the wavy Damascus pattern found on ultra-high quality sword and dagger blades. [It is not known why this service, decorated in the Chinese manner, is called the “Damaskus Service.” Some experts suggest that the Emperor was given a plate as a present while traveling to the Orient (he visited Damascus in 1898). This may have formed the basis of the Berlin service’s decorative style]. The plate measures 9 3/4″ in diameter. The plate is edged in gold, with a further intricate gold design between it and the magenta panels. The plate’s center boasts exquisitely-etched gold arabesques and flowers, one of which looks like a lotus. On the reverse we see the royal Wilhelm Rex (King) cypher, the KPM manufacturer’s hallmark, and the date 1903, when the plate was manufactured and placed into service. This is a fine example of a very intricate and rare Kaiser Wilhelm II table setting.