Saturday, September 6, 2008

I love your china service, Mr. President!

During yet another interminable presidential debate, my mind wandered to a visit I made to the White House a few years ago. Everything about the tour was fascinating, but I was particularly intrigued by the China Room, where all the presidential china is on display. As I marveled over all the lovely patterns, I was especially struck by how many of them included flowers!

The James Polk State Service is one of the most beautiful. Made in 1846 by the firm of Edouard Honore, Paris, it is distinctly Rococo, and certainly a far cry from the traditional shield of Stars and Stripes.

Millard Fillmore's beautiful service highlights a brightly painted bird and floral bouquet surrounded by a beautiful green band. Certainly one of the most unusual colors, except perhaps the highly recognizable Lincoln service in a color called Solferino purple, rimmed with a gold band.

Ulysses S. Grant's china was a collaboration with France's Havilland & Co, and an "un-named" American artist. The Grants were prolific entertainers, and it is known that their china saw a great deal of use.

The Lyndon Johnson china, perhaps not surprisingly, features a charming border of American wildflowers while still highlighting a version of the traditional Eagle crest. It was manufactured in the U.S. by Castleton China.

Won't it be interesting to see what the NEXT president (or first lady) selects as the china to represent their administration?

Just so we won't think the world is all about Presidents, here's a peek at Marie Antoinette's elegant dinnerware...She commissioned hundreds of pieces for this service. If you had $31,000 to toss around, you could have attended a dinner last week at the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris, and received a replica of the mug and saucer!


Donna said...

I love you web site. I can always find new and wonderful ideas.
Thank you so much keep up the good work.

Rita said...

Great blog! I never miss a post. How about updating the presidential china piece with the Obamas' choice?