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Air Force One China Makes A Significant Statement

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Air force one plane WHITE HOUSE CHINA

AIR FORCE ONE SERVES AS A SECURE OFFICE IN THE SKY FOR THE PRESIDENT TO CONDUCT BUSINESS WHILE TRAVELLING - THEODORE ROOSEVELT WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO FLY IN AN AIRCRAFT AFTER LEAVING OFFICE - F.D.R. WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO FLY WHILE IN OFFICE

The most famous presidential china is, of course, Official White House China. But America’s chief executives don’t always dine at the White House. They often conduct their official duties elsewhere, including while traveling on the Official Presidential jet, Air Force One. For some collectors, Air Force One China has a special appeal. These collectors are enthused about airplanes, so Air Force One China naturally dovetails with that interest.

Thanks to advanced technology, presidents traveling on Air Force One can function at a very high level – just as if they were in the White House. The plane is equipped with a conference room, where the table converts into a medical operating table if required. But even when the Commander-in-Chief is airborne, meal service is a necessity. And when the President of the United States dines, the china automatically “morphs” into Presidential China.

Air Force One China JFK KENNEDY

CLASSIC AIR FORCE ONE CHINA CUP AND SAUCER - PERHAPS SELECTED BY PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY AND FIRST LADY JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY
SEE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

Nonetheless, Air Force One china is never considered to be Official White House China. Typically, dinnerware used on board the plane is not of the highest quality nor, usually, as beautiful as Official White House China. The latter is designed specifically to be used for official state dinners with visiting dignitaries. Those riding with the President on Air Force One are often members of the press or others who wouldn’t be considered White House China guests.

President Kennedy and, after him, President Johnson and others used china made by Franciscan in flight. In general, Air Force One china has featured a design that includes an ivory base with a gold band and the presidential seal. However, renowned White House China collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx says the prettiest Air Force One china is the pattern selected by President George H. W. Bush.

Air Force One. RDA-951002-edited.jpgcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgGEORGE H. W. BUSH CHOSE THIS ELEGANT CHINA FOR AIR FORCE ONE - THE COBALT BLUE INNER CIRCLE DENOTES THAT THIS SERVICE WAS FOR USE ONLY BY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS GUESTS IN THE FORWARD PRESIDENTIAL SUITE, NOT TO BE USED IN OTHER SECTIONS OF AIR FORCE ONE - NOTICE THE "AIR FORCE ONE" INCRIPTION ON THE RIM OF THE PLATE AT 6 O'CLOCK AND THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL AT 12 O'CLOCK 

This dinnerware is much more distinctive. Within the gold rim, there is a wide cobalt blue band bearing gold stars. The cobalt color signifies that this china was for Presidential usage. The pieces also incorporate the inscription “Air Force One” in gold, although the words blend into the design so subtly they are nearly unnoticeable. In addition, the detailing on this china looks & feels slightly raised, giving the dishes a 3-dimensional appearance.

This Bush #1 Air Force China, with the cobalt blue band, manufactured by Pickard China of Chicago, was intended for use in the forward cabin only – where the President himself and key aids such as cabinet secretaries ride. The press and others seated in the rear cabin were served on less elegant china. Interestingly, in 2015, President and First Lady Obama chose Pickard to design and manufacture their Official White House China – the first time Pickard had ever been honored in that way.

fdr_wiliamsburg_service_close-up_franklin-roosevelt-china-uss-williamsburg-plate-WHITE HOUSE CHINA

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT ORDERED THIS HANDSOME LENOX SERVICE PLATE AND OTHER PIECES FOR USE ON THE USS WILLIAMSBURG. SADLY, F.D.R.'S UNTIMELY DEATH ON APRIL 12,1945 MEANT HE NEVER GOT TO SEE OR USE THIS CHINA. HARRY S. TRUMAN USED THIS CHINA ON THE USS WILLIAMSBURG. THE CHINA WAS LATER SENT TO CAMP DAVID - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Just as Air Force One China has always been different from White House China, Presidents have also used different dinnerware at the Camp David retreat. Although presidents have sometimes entertained international dignitaries including heads of state at Camp David, this china is never considered to be Official White House China. However, the first china used at Camp David was indeed Presidential, having been used by Harry S. Truman on the USS Williamsburg. The Williamsburg had served as the official Presidential yacht, but when it was decommissioned, the lovely Lenox china was saved and transferred to Camp David.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China, air force one china

A 38 Year Search Ends For 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes Plate

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

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EXTRAORDINARILY RARE RUTHERFORD B. HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA FISH PLATE FROM THE ORIGINAL 1879 HAYES ORDER - NOW PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Every now and then, a collector comes across a piece he’s been hoping to find for years. Decades, even. Renowned White House China collector, Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, recently had such an experience, when he was able to acquire an extraordinarily rare plate from the original Rutherford B. Hayes White House China service. The new acquisition, produced in 1879, is an exquisite 8-1/4” fish plate.

Every President’s Official White House China has been beautiful in its own way, but there are a few patterns that stand out, even among this prestigious group. One of the most exceptional White House China collections was commissioned by President Rutherford B. Hayes and his First Lady, Lucy. The porcelain is not only spectacular in its quality and variety, what few pieces of the 1879 variety remain are extremely rare.

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VIEW OF THE BACK OF THE RUTHERFORD B. HAYES FISH PLATE - NOTE THE SIGNATURE CYPHER IN THE 6 O'CLOCK POSITION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

Many things about the Hayes China make this service unique in the true sense of the word. Among its distinctive characteristics is the fact that most of the plates and serving pieces are not round. Rather, the dishes themselves are works of art, shaped to frame the American artwork painted on them. The latest addition to the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection is round, but with a beautifully scalloped edge that gives the plate definition and creates its own style of “frame” for the artwork.

In fact, from the artwork we see that this 1879 plate is, indeed, a scallop shell. But there is more. Fittingly, since this is a fish plate, it features a dramatically rendered ocean fish, along with a flower bud that draws the eye downward on the plate.

rutherford-hayes-white-house-china-plate-cypher-1879.jpgcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpg

CLOSE-UP OF SIGNATURE CYPER AT 6 O'CLOCK POSITION ON THE HAYES FISH PLATE VERSO - ORANGE, TURQUOISE AND BLACK WERE USED TO FORM THE INTITIALS "TH" (Theodore Haviland) AND THE "1879" ORDER YEAR - THIS RARE DISTINCTION APPEARED ON THE WHITE HOUSE INITIAL 1879 ORDER ONLY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

What collector wouldn’t want to own something so impressive? But this plate is not only stunning, it is the genuine article – a piece of the original 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes Official White House China order. We know that when we turn the plate over to view the back side, or verso. There, in the “six o’clock” position, we see the distinguishing mark that authenticates this plate. The orange, blue, and black cypher says “Limoges Haviland & Co. and depicts the initials TH (for Theodore Haviland), interlocked with “1879.”

The story goes like this: Haviland & Company hired the famous artist Theodore R. Davis to design the Hayes China, which includes 130 different wildlife motifs. Every piece was entirely hand-painted. It cost Haviland so much to produce the 562-piece order that they lost money, so to make up the loss the company re-issued a limited number of pieces for sale to the public, as well as for supplemental White House orders. The only difference was that plates manufactured after the original 1879 order do not bear the “TH 1879” cypher, although they do carry the presidential eagle seal on the verso.

hayes_w.h_china_full_oriole_shot_rutherford-hayes-dessert-plate-1.jpg

STUNNING HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATE FEATURING A BALTIMORE ORIOLE FROM THE RUTHERFORD B. HAYES WHITE HOUSE CHINA - DESIGNED BY THEODORE RUSSELL DAVIS - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Mr. Amyx’s White House China collection includes several other supplemental Hayes fish plates. He says it’s “not so hard to find fish plates from the supplemental orders.” But now, after searching for more than three decades, he has finally made a very special addition to his collection with the 1879 fish plate. For him, it is “a big deal.” He says the texture, depth, and perspective of the hand-painted artwork cannot be truly appreciated in photographs, only with the human eye.

As a collector, he also appreciates the value of the fish plate. Hayes China from the 1879 order is so rare, its value is about eight times that of pieces from supplemental orders.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China, Rutherford B. Hayes

Is White House China a worthy investment?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

POLK-SOUP-PLATE-POST-RESTORATION-2014.jpg

LOVELY PRISTINE CONDITION SOUP BOWL FROM THE 1846 JAMES K. POLK WHITE HOUSE CHINA - THIS WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CHINA TO FEATURE THE PRESIDENTIAL EMBLEM IN RED, WHITE, & BLUE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Is White House China a worthy investment? Renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx says yes, indeed. Official White House China appreciates reliably over time, year after year. That is, it will if you buy wisely. As one who has been collecting official presidential dinnerware for nearly four decades, Mr. Amyx has developed a great deal of wisdom regarding Presidential dinnerware.

To make a good investment, you have to develop a good feel for the right price to pay initially. The most certain way to ensure you’re get a truly worthy piece of china is to buy from someone who knows White House China well. Someone who has extensive first-hand experience is in the best position to give you sound, expert advice. Buying from someone like this is smart because you can be confident in the quality of your investment. Although buying from the right source may cost more, it comes with valuable assurance: there is no question about what you’re getting.

abraham-lincoln-egg-cup.jpg

THIS DELICATE EGG CUP FROM THE FIRST ABRAHAM LINCOLN WHITE HOUSE CHINA ORDER IN 1861 WAS HIDDEN INSIDE OF AN URN FOR OVER 100 YEARS, THUS PERSERVING THIS RARE EXAMPLE IN PRISTINE CONDITION. THE LINCOLN'S ORDERED ONLY 24 EGG CUPS OF WHICH ONLY A FEW ARE KNOWN TO EXIST - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

The more White House China you collect, the more you learn about it, because you can study your pieces up close. For Mr. Amyx, detailed scrutiny of porcelain within his collection has taught him to identify very similar plates without even looking at the front. He cites the Lincoln pattern as a good example.

The dinnerware chosen by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln features a very distinctive color called Solferino purple. That color, along with the overall design of the decoration, makes this china particularly beautiful. In fact, several subsequent Presidents chose to reorder this pattern when replacements were needed, rather than select a different pattern to mark their own presidency. However, porcelain other than those in the original Lincoln order do not bear the same verso markings. Mr. Amyx can discern simply by examining the back of a plate whether it is truly original Lincoln Official White House China or something used by a later President, such as by Presidents, Grant, Arthur or McKinley.

carter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgcarter_w.h._china_verso_carter-white-house-china-verso-1.jpg

EXAMPLE OF A  10.5" DINNER PLATE AND VERSO MARKING ON THE BACK - FROM THE JIMMY CARTER WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Occasionally, someone who owns a piece of White House China may wish to cash in their investment. They may have inherited one or more pieces as a descendant of a past President. Or their family may have passed down a piece acquired while a predecessor or worked as part of the White House staff. However, there are only a couple of ways to sell the piece.

There are not many private individuals who actually collect White House China. Someone wishing to sell a piece may find Mr. Amyx through an online search, and if their piece is one Mr. Amyx is interested in, they can know they are getting a fair price for their china. But Raleigh DeGeer Amyx does not purchase pieces unless they are in excellent condition.

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MAGNIFICENT RARE 24" HAND-PAINTED FISH PLATTER FROM THE 1880 RUTHERFORD B. HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

If Mr. Amyx does not buy the piece, then the owner’s next best alternative is to sell it through an auction house. Mr. Amyx cautions that not all auction houses can handle the sale of a piece of White House China. In order to prepare a catalog presenting the item for sale and determine a likely value, the auction house will have to learn more about the piece. It may take multiple researchers to do this. Sometimes they call upon Mr. Amyx for advice.

So what makes collecting White House China a worthy investment? Its financial value increases over time. But the pieces themselves are very beautiful – stunning in some cases – exhibiting great artistic talent. And each President’s choice of color and pattern is different. In some cases, the shapes and motifs are highly unusual.

Mr. Amyx notes that the pieces have so much more “life” when seen in person than when viewed in photographs. China of this stature has a porosity and depth no camera can see. It positively glistens. Mr. Amyx has the very rare privilege of admiring his collection every day.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China

How to determine the value of Official White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

white-house-china-book.jpg

THE NEW 2017 EDITION OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA. SERIOUS COLLECTORS SHOULD PURCHASE THIS, AS UPDATED BY BILL ALLMAN, WHITE HOUSE CURATOR. FROM A BOOK POINT OF VIEW I CONSIDER THIS THE BIBLE - SO TO SPEAK.

If you’re considering purchasing or selling a piece of Official White House China, what is a fair price? There is no catalog or similar resource where you can simply look up the value of a particular plate or serving dish. Instead, determining the value of Presidential and White House China takes considerable knowledge and experience. It is both an art and a science.

So we put the question to Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, one of the world’s most expert collectors of Official White House.

WASHINGTON-CHINA-george washington

LOVELY NEAR PRISTINE PLATE FROM THE 1786 GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESIDENTIAL CHINA - ONLY A FEW NEAR PRISTINE EXAMPLES STILL EXIST OF THE WASHINGTON CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

“Align yourself with an advanced collector who has superior knowledge of Official White House China as well as condition and valuation criteria,” Mr. Amyx advises. Sometimes such a person will be the very best source from whom to purchase presidential china or negotiate a trade. This is because the dealer/collector may have a rare piece suited to your needs. For example, they may possess three identical pieces of a particular president’s china – say Bill Clinton’s service plates -- and may be willing to part with one. Then the buyer is in a good position to go after this piece via a trade or purchase.

As to cost, an advanced dealer or collector is expected to know current market value. Normally they never negotiate. Actually, this can make it much easier, because the buyer can simply agree to the price or say “no, thank you.”

bill-clinton-white-house-china-1-1.jpg

BOLD SERVICE PLATE FROM THE BILL CLINTON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - COMMEMORATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WHITE HOUSE,THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT AN IMAGE OF THE WHITE HOUSE WAS EVER USED ON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
 
Of course a prospective buyer can also research auction sale prices. This is definitely time-consuming, and it is often misleading, because published auction sale results don't reveal condition. Just the amount paid. And condition means everything. And if you’re considering an auction house to sell your piece of White House China, bear in mind that the process can be slow and the results unpredictable.

“I know a collector/dealer who never purchases a piece of Official White House China unless it is in pristine condition,” notes Mr. Amyx. “Thus, if he does sell a piece, the good news is that the buyer is assured they are purchasing Official White House China that is pristine.” But remember, he warns, that the dealer/collector paid a premium price for pristine. Any buyer will also have to be prepared to pay more, too.

LINCOLN WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

REGAL NEAR PRISTINE STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1861 ABRAHAM LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - THIS CHINA PATTERN IS A FAVORITE AMONG ADVANCED COLLECTORS. PRESIDENTS JOHNSON, GRANT, ARTHUR AND MCKINLEY REORDERED PIECES FROM THE SAME PATTERN - OF COURSE THE VERSO OF THE LATTER SUBSEQUENT PIECES IS DIFFERENT FROM THE ORGINAL LINCOLN ORDER - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
 
In the long run, Mr. Amyx believes, near pristine condition really is worth it, for both parties. If the piece is perfect, the seller never has to explain the condition, trying to describe tiny chips, cracks, wear, or other imperfections. Collector/dealers will send photos, of course, but as Mr. Amyx points out, “It’s always looks better in person.” Photos simply cannot do justice to the luminescent beauty of Official White House China.

Determining condition and verifying or discovering provenance can be tricky. It requires an eye practiced in identifying sometimes-subtle differences that reveal critical details such as place or date of manufacture that can significantly affect the piece’s value. In effect, says Mr. Amyx, his buyers are buying his knowledge as well as the china. 

In a world where there are so many items one could collect, Mr. Amyx says collectors of Official White House China typically have a professed interest in American history, especially the Presidency. Each President’s china selection reflects a certain perspective at that point in our country’s history. Among Presidential memorabilia – things they owned or used during their tenure in the Executive Mansion -- White House China is considered to be one of the premier items.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China

What to look for when buying/selling White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

MONROE WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

IMPRESSIVE EXAMPLE OF A PRISTINE DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1820 JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

What do experienced collectors look for when considering whether or not to purchase a piece of White House China? Collecting anything of value is an art as well as a science, so some of the clues can be subtle. Condition is an obvious factor – if a piece is chipped, cracked, scratched, or literally in pieces, it is not as desirable as a piece that is pristine.

MADISON SERVING DISH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX AND GRANT QUERTERMOUS, THE ASSISTANT CURATOR OF THE JAMES MADISON MONTPELIER HOME, MAKE A CONCENTRATED STUDY OF HISTORIC DISCREPANCIES IN THE CALLIGRAPHY ON ONE OF MADISON'S 1806 SERVING DISHES - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLELCTION

When it comes to White House China, markings can be critical. With meticulous research and experience over time, you can conjure up a mental image of the piece, front and back, so you know exactly what to expect when you see it. It takes extensive study to know what to look for. Renowned White House China collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx says collectors are like performers. In his case, after more than three decades of collecting Presidential China, he has finally gotten to the equivalent of Carnegie Hall and has been able to take a well-deserved bow.

FDR WHITE HOUSE CHINA VERSO ROOSEVELT

EXAMPLE OF A VERSO MARKING ON THE BACK OF A DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1934 FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

He says, “One of the best ways to learn about White House China is to invest and buy, even though you may not make the best choices at first.” He also recommends studying what you buy in detail - every detail, so you know as much as possible about the piece itself and its history. The information you glean will make up for any potential overspending. In essence, you’re paying your dues to become better educated as a collector. Not to worry, though, you'll likely not overspend on an authentic piece of Presidential or White House China. Don't be overly afraid.

Eventually, you can develop a keen eye, to quickly detect if a piece is authentic. Some of those triggers are subjective, again based on experience. An authentic piece looks “right” to the eye and feels “right” to the hand. For example, some 25 years ago, Mr. Amyx purchased a plate at an auction, sight unseen. He based his decision to buy on the auction house’s assertion that this was a piece of Lincoln Presidential China. But when he received the plate, he felt it was not from Lincoln’s, or any President’s White House China.

LINCOLN WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

REGAL NEAR PRISTINE STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1861 ABRAHAM LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

Further investigation revealed Mr. Amyx was right on the money. His sense that the plate was not as advertised was correct. He was able to return the plate and receive a refund within 1 week of making the purchase.  

Interestingly, the man who assisted him in his investigation was William Allman, then an assistant curator at the White House, and is now the Head Curator. Mr. Allman, a true professional, will be retiring this summer, but Mr. Amyx has no plans to retire from collecting.

One of the most important points, is that any new buyer of Presidential or White House China should locate an experienced and reputable seller. With their guidance, whatever sold is guaranteed and highly unlikely to be anything but exactly what you had hoped for.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China

Top 9 rarest White House China pieces

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Presidential dinnerware since the time of George Washington reflects the taste and culture of its day. Shapes, sizes, and decoration of the pieces vary considerably – dramatically in some cases – and every casual viewer and collector has their aesthetic favorites. But when it comes to identifying the rarest White House China, beauty has no bearing. Rarity is strictly a matter of numbers. The fewer pieces still in existence, the rarer they are.

Several Official White House China patterns were so popular with later Presidents, they were reordered instead of being replaced with a new design. The Abraham Lincoln Official White House China is a prominent example. Because so many pieces with this pattern were produced, there are more available to be collected, even today. Comparatively speaking, they are not rare, but Lincoln is Lincoln, thus in high demand.

We asked world renowned White House China collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx which Presidential China collections are most rare. Here's how he ranked them:

ulysses s grant white house china service dinner plate

LOVELY 1870 STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE ULYSSES S. GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - HAVILAND AND COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTIONS HERE

#9. Ulysses Grant

This 1879 Official White House China order consisted of more pieces – 587 – but no 1879 pieces were ever re-ordered, that bear a distinctive verso marking. There is a special marking on the 1879 order that does not appear on any of the following china order pieces, by any other subsequent Presidents.

rutherford hayes white house chine service dinner plate

UNIQUE HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1879 RUTHERFORD B. HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - DESIGNED BY THEODORE RUSSELL DAVIS - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#8. Rutherford Hayes

President Hayes’ original 562-piece White House China service is marked “1879” on the back. However, Haviland & Co. lost so much money producing this stunning china that they reissued it repeatedly for public sale, minus the 1879 date. Even a subsequent Presidential order to replenish White House supplies arrived without the 1879 mark. For this reason, pieces remaining from the original, dated order are deemed to be about five times as valuable as matching, undated 1879 pieces.

james k polk official white house china service dinner plate

PRISTINE EXAMPLE OF A DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1846 JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY EDOUARD D. HONORE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#7. James K. Polk

The 1846 James K. Polk White House China was never re-ordered and bears no specfic markings that help identify it as Official White House China.

theodore teddy roosevelt white house china service dinner plate

TIMELESS STATE FISH PLATE FROM THE 1903 THEODORE ROOSEVELT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY WEDGWOOD - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#6. Theodore Roosevelt

There were just 120 pieces in Theodore Roosevelt’s original White House China order, and this pattern was never re-ordered. Not only are there no verso markings to indicate the pieces were Official White House China, the seal on the front rim is the seal of the United States, not the Presidential seal. This makes it even more likely subsequent owners would not have realized what they had. Mr. Amyx says, “pieces rarely appear on the market, perhaps every 5 or 10 years.” One 9” fish plate from the Theodore Roosevelt Official White House China collection is part of the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

john quincy adams white house china service dinner plate

EXTRAORDINALRILY RARE SERVING PIECE FROM THE JOHN QUINCY ADAMS OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#5. John Quincy Adams

None of the John Quincy Adams White House China was ever re-ordered. Most of the original order was lost or broken. During the 1800s, most Presidential china orders were not marked as such, so they were often inherited by individuals who had no idea of their true provenance or value.

franklin pierce white house china service dinner plate

ELEGANT PLATE FROM THE 1853 FRANKLIN PIERCE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#4. Franklin Pierce

There were only 287 pieces in Franklin Pierce’s 1853 White House China order, and they had no helpful verso markings. The pattern was never re-ordered. Mr. Amyx owns one pristine piece from of Pierce White House China, and says “he has seen only one other piece offered for sale in the last 30 years.”

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EXTREMELY RARE LOZENGES SERVICE DISHES FROM THE 1806 JAMES MADISON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY NAST'S FACTORY PARIS - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#3. James Madison

Prior to becoming President, James and Dolley Madison ordered a set of china that consisted of about 300 pieces. Following the War of 1812, the Madisons brought to The White House the china that they had used as Secretary of State. They used this service for dinners with foreign dignitaries, so it became Official White House China. Today, only 30 pieces remain, thanks to the fact that the British burned down the executive mansion and much of its contents during the Madison administration. Thirty pieces are accounted for – among them, 8 are in the White House collection, 4 are housed at the historic Madison home in Montpelier, and 5 Madison pieces are in the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

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PRISTINE DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1820 JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY DAGOYT AND HONORE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#2. James Monroe

Similar to the John Quincy Adams White House China, no President after James Monroe ordered this same pattern, so only the pieces in Monroe’s original order ever existed. James Monroe White House China is sought after in a major way.

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BEAUTIFUL CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN PLATE FROM THE 1786 GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESIDENTIAL CHINA - CONSIDERED THE "HOLY GRAIL" OF WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#1. George Washington

Very few pieces of our first President’s china still exist today. The dinnerware Washington used for official state occasions while President was his own personal china, used by him both before and after his Presidential service. Although there was no White House during the Washington Administration, this extraordinarily rare  porcelain is still considered to be Official White House China. After the passing of both George and Martha Washington, the remaining china was moved several times – and not always gently. Not much survived. Specifically, a pristine George Washington White House China dinner plate has a value exceeding $80,000.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

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Tags: White House China, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, James K. Polk, Marilyn Monroe, George Washington, James Monroe, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Franklin Pierce

George E. Thomas: Presidential valet to JFK

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

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JOHN F. KENNEDY'S PRESIDENTIAL VALET, GEORGE E. THOMAS, WITH JOHN F. KENNEDY JR.

Arthur Prettyman will forever be known in American history as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “most famous” valet, perhaps because he was at FDR’s side when the president suffered his fatal cerebral hemorrhage in 1945. But Prettyman was not the only presidential valet to be near at hand when his Chief Executive boss died in office. Not so many years after Roosevelt’s passing, presidential valet George E. Thomas was one of the last people to speak to President John F. Kennedy before he was assassinated.

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STERLING SILVER TEETHING RING - JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

It was November 22, 1963. President Kennedy was scheduled to visit Dallas, following an earlier appearance. His valet, George Thomas, had joined him for the trip. As Air Force One rolled to a stop at the Dallas airport, JFK and Thomas were standing in the tail of the plane looking out at the enormous crowd that had gathered. Well aware that his valet had grown up in the tiny town of Berryville Virginia, Kennedy laughingly observed, “You know, George, I think this is a bigger town than you come from.”

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THE OFFICIAL FLAG THAT FLEW OVER THE WHITE HOUSE WHEN JFK WAS ASSASSINATED ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963 - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE PRESIDENTIAL RELICS HERE

That joke was their last conversation, but it wasn’t George Thomas’ last act as presidential valet. JFK’s long-time friend and aide, Dave Powers, was given responsibility for choosing the president’s funeral clothing. He sought help from Thomas, who narrowed the choices down to eight suits with all the necessary accessories as well as four pairs of shoes.

The shirt Powers selected was monogrammed. However, George Thomas reminded Powers that Kennedy had a special dislike of flashy monograms, so the suit was arranged to conceal the initials. And then Thomas performed his last personal act for President Kennedy, folding JFK’s handkerchief and slipping it into the jacket pocket just as the President always had – with the monogram covered.

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IMPRESSIVE WWII GOLD MONOGRAMMED SHAVING SET BELONGING TO NAVY LIEUTENANT JOHN F. KENNEDY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

An experienced valet, Thomas began serving Jack Kennedy in 1947, when JFK was first elected to the US Congress. Thomas was recommended for the position by Arthur Krock a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was close to the Kennedy clan. When Kennedy became President, George Thomas moved into the White House to continue serving the man who had become his friend.

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JOHN F. KENNEDY IN DALLAS BEFORE HE WAS ASSASSINATED. TWO SECTIONS OF THE REAR LEATHER SEAT FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE THAT JFK WAS RIDING IN ARE PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

George Thomas continued to live in Washington after Kennedy’s passing. He served as a confidential aide to various chairmen of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1965 until he retired in 1978. Two years later, he passed away from a heart ailment.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China, John F. Kennedy

Why do historians rank James K. Polk as one of the greatest Presidents?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

JAMES POLK WHITE HOUSE CHINA

JAMES K. POLK (1795-1849)
OUR 11TH PRESIDENT (1845-1849)

Residents of much of the western United States can thank President James K. Polk for making them Americans. His belief in the country’s “Manifest Destiny” to expand from coast to coast was the driving force behind several of the accomplishments that rank him as one of our greatest presidents.

Considering the sweeping nature of his achievements, it is surprising that Polk is also one of our least-known presidents. Although he served just one 4-year term, he was an active leader during a very active time in the country’s history -- 1845 to 1849.

JAMES POLK WHITE HOUSE CHINA DESSERT PLATE

ELEGANT DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1846 JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY EDOUARD D. HONORE', CHAMPROUX - PRISTINE EXAMPLE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTIONS HERE

Within those four years, Polk added California, New Mexico, Texas and most of the Oregon Territory to the United States. He significantly reduced trade tariffs. He oversaw the opening of the U.S Naval Academy, started construction of the Washington Monument, and issued the first U.S. postage stamps. But it is the issues surrounding expansion that most define his presidential legacy.

James Polk brought plenty of political experience and acumen to his job as 11th President of the United States. Trained as a lawyer, he served in the Tennessee legislature, then moved on to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he worked closely with Andrew Jackson. He served as Speaker of the House from 1835 to 1839, but then returned to Tennessee to serve as Governor.

JAMES POLK WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

PRISTINE SOUP BOWL FROM THE JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - FIRST TIME THE THE PRESIDENTIAL EMBLEM WAS USED ON WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

As the 1844 presidential election approached, Polk was considered the likely choice to run for Vice President on the Democratic ticket. But after multiple convention ballots, Polk won the presidential nomination instead. It turned out the country was in the mood for expansion, something Andrew Jackson had been proactively promoting. Both of the presumptive nominees – Democrat Martin Van Buren and Whig Henry Clay – were opposed to that plan, especially the prospective annexation of Texas. That opposition cost them their presidential ambitions.

Polk wanted the entire Oregon Territory for America. This land stretched from California’s northern border all the way to the southern border of Russian Alaska, at latitude 54’40’, and was owned jointly by the United States and Great Britain. At the time, there were more British subjects than Americans living in this territory, and Britain wasn’t inclined to give it up. However, neither country wanted a war, so the land was divided, extending the northern U.S. boundary in a straight line to the west.

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ALL OF THE LAND OUTLINED IN RED WAS ACQUIRED DURING THE JAMES K. POLK PRESIDENTIAL TERM (1845-1849)

Polk’s annexation plans did not go as smoothly on the southern front. Texas had seceded from Mexico over the issue of slavery, which Mexico banned, and northern Americans didn’t want to add another pro-slavery state to the Union. Nonetheless, Polk attempted to purchase Texas, New Mexico, and California for $20 million, and when that was rebuffed, he sent troops commanded by Gen. Zachary Taylor to a section of Texas along the Rio Grande.

This set off a war and further inflamed both pro- and anti-slavery advocates within the United States. Ultimately, Polk prevailed, annexing the lands in question at a cost of $15 million.

Some historians say James K. Polk engaged in dangerous brinkmanship and involved the country in unnecessary, costly war. They suggest that annexation of the territory from California to Texas would have happened anyway. But no one disputes President Polk’s political boldness and unstinting hard work. Sadly, James K. Polk passed away from cholera only three months after leaving office.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for nearly 40 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China, James K. Polk

The 9 Most Beautiful Examples of White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Apr 06, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Everyone knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But picking favorites among the many collections of stunning Official White House China is no mere beauty contest. For renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, it’s about the art – and the fact that the magnificence of each service also reflects the context of its time.

“In a portrait gallery,” he explains, “you walk into a room filled with masterpieces yet you’re drawn to certain one(s) that move you, like a song that makes you feel something.” asked to name his White House china favorites, he chose nine, noting it was “easy” to identify the first four, but hard to decide beyond that because each collection is outstanding in its own way. This is the countdown of his nine favorite White House China examples.

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STUNNING 1951 SERVICE PLATE FROM THE HARRY S. TRUMAN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTIONS HERE

#9. Harry S. Truman

Similar in many ways to Woodrow Wilson’s White House China, the Truman collection exudes overall elegance. The richly-patterned green, gold, deep ivory and white provide an aesthetically appropriate harmony for official state dinners. This service is historically important because it depicts the federal eagle as “reversed” by Truman’s Executive Order in 1945, showing the eagle facing the olive branch of peace rather than the arrows of war.

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PRISTINE EXAMPLE OF A DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1846 JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY EDOUARD D. HONORE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#8. James Polk

Though more subtle than the surprising shapes of the Hayes china, the ornately scalloped plates are themselves works of art, reflecting a different artist’s imagination. They create a visual frame for the extensive gilded designs as well as beautifully hand-painted flowers on the dessert plates – 36 flowers to denote the 36 states in the Union. With this china, a new presidential shield is depicted for the first time in red, white and blue.

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ELEGANT HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATE FROM 1879 RUTHEFORD B. HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & CO - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#7. Rutherford B. Hayes

There is nothing subtle about the unusual plate shapes in this White House China collection. “You either like it, or you don’t,” says Mr. Amyx. Each plate seems to have been designed to frame its colorfully detailed, hand-painted wildlife. The non-traditional aspects of this china extend to the always-present presidential emblem – it is equally colorful, but appears only on the verso. Pieces from the original 1879 order are most collectible. Although the “cypher” on the verso was supposedly rendered in red, white and blue, it appears to be gold, turquoise and orange. ”

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GORGEOUS BREAKFAST PLATE FROM THE 1891 BENJAMIN HARRISON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY TRESSEMANES AND VOGT - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#6. Benjamin Harrison

First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison was a very talented artist, and it is her, in part, own artwork that adorns the border of this striking White House China. In fact, it is so pretty, subsequent presidents chose to reorder the same pattern rather than make any changes. That makes some Harrison china easier for collectors to locate. However, the pièce de résistance among this collection is the rarer and more valuable morning breakfast plate that features a double border.

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LOVELY STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1869 ULYSSES S. GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#5. Ulysses S. Grant

With this extraordinary china, the subtly scalloped edges of the plates offer a distinctive design element. But the large, beautifully detailed flowers are the main presence – 24 in all, allowing each place setting at smaller dinner gatherings to be different. This dinnerware also introduces a new presidential emblem, again chosen by the artist and approved by President and/or Mrs. Grant.

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BEAUTIFUL SERVICE PLATE FROM THE 1968 LYNDON B. JOHNSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY CASTLETON CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#4. Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson used her influence as First Lady to promote beautification of America’s roadsides through planting wildflowers. The state china she helped design reflects that same theme – not only pretty but perhaps a floral political statement as well. "Photos simply do not do this china justice," notes Mr. Amyx. He admits he especially loves the eagle, which borrows from Monroe and Lincoln depictions.

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IMPECCABLE STATE DINNER SERVICE PLATE FROM THE 1981 RONALD REAGAN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#3. Ronald Reagan

This china’s extraordinary creativity and beauty show in the bold scarlet border (Nancy Reagan’s favorite color), bounded by gold cross-hatching on the service and dessert plates. "The color and design are both striking, like a lady in a perfect red dress," yet they take their inspiration from artistic elements in early White House China patterns.

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CLASSIC STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1861 ABRAHAM LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#2. Abraham Lincoln

Presidents are America’s version of royalty, so this china also features a variation of Royal Purple – in this case a rich, warm tone called Solferino, chosen personally by Mary Todd Lincoln. This stunning china carries forward the Monroe eagle to represent the president, but now the eagle holds arrows of war and an olive branch of peace and is accompanied by a banner that reads “E Pluribus Unum.”

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PRISTINE DESSERT PLATE FROM THE JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION CIRCA 1820 - MANUFACTURED BY DAGOYT AND HONORE - BOTH PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#1. James Monroe

This was the first time an American president had a Congressionally-approved budget to buy china for formal White House occasions. Previous presidents had brought their personal dinnerware with them, so there was no precedent regarding what constituted “officially appropriate” china. "What should the presidential emblem look like? The Monroe service, like several other early designs, is presidential china as seen through the eyes of the artist." Every detail imagined and hand-painted, from the unusual marbled purplish-blue border to the bald eagle with widespread wings.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson, White House China, Ulysses S. Grant, James K. Polk, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, James Monroe, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison

Arthur PrettymaN - FDR's Most Well-Known Valet

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

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FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (1882-1945)
OUR 32ND PRESIDENT (1933-1945)

Traditionally, the role of valet has been to maintain “his man’s” wardrobe and help him present a well-groomed personal appearance. Throughout American history, however, the role of valet to the President has been much more complex. Although each relationship has been unique in its own ways, presidential valets have served as butlers and meal servers, couriers, and close personal confidants as well as overseeing and helping select their president’s daily attire.

In the case of Arthur Prettyman, serving as valet to President Franklin D. Roosevelt was even more challenging.

FDR Roosevelt White House China

TIMELESS DINNER PLATE FROM THE FRANKLIN AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT FEATURES MOTIFS BORROWED FROM THE HISTORIC ROOSEVELT FAMILY COAT OF ARMS - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTIONS HERE

Like so many presidential valets before him, Arthur Prettyman was a veteran of the US military. He retired from the Navy as a chief petty officer. He came on board as FDR’s personal valet in 1939, after Roosevelt’s long-time valet Irwin MacDuffie was fired, allegedly for drinking on the job instead of attending to his duties.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had contracted polio in 1921, when he was just 39 years old. The disease left his legs virtually paralyzed and forced him to wear heavy leg braces that locked at the knee. He was unable to don the braces himself, and even while wearing them, Roosevelt could barely walk with the aid of crutches. Often he used a wheelchair instead. So it became Arthur Prettyman’s job as valet to assist the president not only in wardrobe selection, but by strapping on the leg braces and dressing him. He also helped FDR into his wheelchair and lifted him from the wheelchair to his bed.

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MILDRED PRETTYMAN, WIFE OF ARTHUR PRETTYMAN, WITH FDR'S CANE AND FEDORA IN 1983 - BOTH PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Their relationship had a humorous side too. Evidently, Arthur Prettyman was aptly named -- said to have had a radiant smile. FDR often referred to him as a “lady killer.”

Due to the nature of their job, presidential valets have always been privy to the behind-the-scenes workings of the White House as well as the president’s daily schedule. Aware of FDR’s many important meetings, where discussion often included disagreement, Arthur Prettyman was known to reply to the President, “One does not refute the chief executive.”

As valet, Prettyman’s primary responsibility was to pick out the President’s attire for the day – his suit and which tie to wear with it. Usually FDR left those decisions to his valet, but there were times when Roosevelt voiced his own preference. On those occasions, Prettyman always deferred, because “one does not refute the chief executive,” not even in matters of personal attire.

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HISTORIC BEAVER FORMAL TOP HAT WORN BY F.D.R. AT HIS FIRST INAUGURATION ON MARCH 4, 1933 - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Because his physical impairment required an assistant to be present at night as well as during the day, Franklin D. Roosevelt had more valets than any other president -- a total of five (because it took two at at time from 1938-1945) during his tenure in the White House. But Arthur Prettyman became the most well-known.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945. It came as a shock to the American public, from whom FDR’s chronic and deteriorating health problems had been carefully hidden for years. The President had traveled to the “Little White House,” his cottage near Warm Springs, Georgia. Naturally, his entourage included his trusted valet, Arthur Prettyman.

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A SADDENED ARTHUR PRETTYMAN WALKS FDR'S DOG, FALA, IN ATLANTA WHEN THE TRAIN BEARING FDR'S REMAINS MAKES A STOP ENROUTE TO WASHINGTON, D.C. 

One of the most touching moments that indelibly associates Arthur Prettyman with FDR’s passing is memorialized in a famous photograph. In it, a very sad Prettyman is seen walking Roosevelt’s beloved Scottish terrier, Fala, during a stop in Atlanta as the train carrying the President’s body headed back to Washington, DC.

And so, Arthur Prettyman became Franklin D. Roosevelt’s final and most famous valet, due his grand personality and to circumstances of fate.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: White House China, Franklin D. Roosevelt

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