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Top 7 Pieces of White House China That Were Most Difficult to Acquire: Part 1

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Jan 09, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Lincoln.china-724900-edited.jpg

ELEGANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PIECES FROM THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN COLLECTION - A FAVORITE AMONG SUBSEQUENT PRESIDENTS, THIS PATTERN HAS BEEN REPRODUCED MORE THAN ANY OTHER - SOME EXAMPLES ARE PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Every successful collector is an experienced detective. It takes knowledge, insight, and sometimes a little creativity to find the pieces you want. And, often, it can take years. Decades, even. When it comes to Official White House China, renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx says his pieces that have been most difficult to acquire are those that are the rarest.

It’s easy to understand why some White House China, in particular, is now extremely rare. Early Presidents ordered far smaller quantities of china for official use than today’s residents of the Executive Mansion, because state dinners were much more intimate affairs in early times.

Carter_china.jpg

THE BEAUTIFUL JIMMY CARTER WHITE HOUSE CHINA WAS ACTUALLY NEVER USED IN THE WHITE HOUSE SINCE IT ARRIVED AFTER CARTER LEFT OFFICE - SOME EXAMPLES ARE PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Some Presidential china patterns were never reordered, either by the same President or subsequent office-holders. And time takes its toll on all porcelain, so it’s only natural that breakage would decimate the oldest collections of Presidential China, further reducing the number of pieces available to modern-day collectors.

When all those factors converge, Mr. Amyx says it can be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. On top of that, there are other factors that make certain Presidents’ china more competitive to collect. Within his exquisite collection of White House China, there are seven pieces Mr. Amyx points to as the toughest to acquire. In this article, we’ll look at three of them. Stay tuned to read about the remaining four pieces.

washington white house china plate

NEAR PRISTINE GEORGE WASHINGTON WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE - THIS PORCELAIN IS THE OLDEST PRESIDENTIAL CHINA, ONE OF THE RAREST, AND, THERFORE, ONE OF THE HARDEST TO ACQUIRE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

GEORGE WASHINGTON - Technically, our first President’s official dinnerware was never “White House” china, because he never lived in the White House. However, because Washington used his own Society of Cincinnati dinnerware to serve visiting foreign dignitaries, that service is now considered Official White House China. There were 302 pieces in the original Society of Cincinnati order. The few pieces that remain are difficult to collect for their value as “Presidential China,” as the porcelain is also sought-after by those who collect all types of George Washington memorabilia. Mr. Amyx considers only Franklin Pierce’s china to be rarer than Washington’s.

madison white house china plate

EXTREMELY RARE JAMES MADISON LOZENGE SERVING DISH - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

JAMES MADISON - Given its history, it’s a wonder that any “Official” China from Madison’s Presidency still lives on today. His original order of porcelain was destroyed when the British burned down the White House. Forced to live and serve state guests in a private home while the Executive Mansion was under reconstruction, Madison contributed a set of dinnerware from his own home, Montpelier. This was a 231-piece service he obtained while serving as Secretary of State. That porcelain, too, suffered several indignities over the years, and now only 30 pieces are known to remain. Mr. Amyx owns four of them.

monroe white house china dessert plate

STUNNING DESSERT PLATE FROM THE JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

JAMES MONROE - “This china is so gorgeous,” notes Mr. Amyx, “and Monroe was a two-term President. You’d think he would have ordered more, and the next President didn’t even order more.” To this day, it is not yet clear how many items were in Monroe’s original order of Official White House China, but what few remain are now very rare. “I don’t even own the prettiest piece,” he admits.

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

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - RENOWNED HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

Distinguished historian and 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 did the tradition of White House China start?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

george washington white house china plate

RARE GEORGE WASHINGTON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PLATE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Originally, the tradition of Official White House China did not begin with our first president, George Washington. Sometime later, it was determined that George Washington's China qualified to be classified as White House China, even though there was no White House during his Presidency.

The United States was a brand new country, so there were no “presidential provisions.” In fact, the first United States capital was New York, then later it was Philadelphia. Most of the furnishings used by the President during this time, including china, were from his personal belongings.

However, President Washington did select what would become Washington, D.C. as the official government seat. He also chose the exterior design of the President’s House, now known as The White House. Even after the official Presidential mansion was completed, though, Presidents continued to supply their own furnishings, because there were no government funds to pay for such things.

james monroe white house china dessert plate

ELEGANT JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA DESSERT PLATE - MANUFACTURED BY DAGOTY & HONORE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

It wasn’t until the inauguration of our fifth President, James Monroe, that we saw the genesis of Official White House China. Right away, Monroe obtained Congressional approval to establish a separate fund to furnish The White House. This was 1817, and perhaps Congress was especially willing to set aside money for furnishing the mansion, as The White House and its contents had been ravaged by fire in 1814 during the British burning of the Executive Mansion. Among the furnishings Monroe chose was a set of china. The collection included 30 place settings plus a matching dessert service.

Everything Monroe purchased came from France. Before becoming President, Monroe served two terms as America’s Minister to France, so he had lived there for eight years. It’s easy to imagine that during that time he came to appreciate and be influenced by the fine things he saw in Paris. In those years, Paris was a highly sophisticated city that may have counted as many as a million residents. Back home in the United States, it would have been hard to find a town with even 100,000 people, and most were far smaller. So bringing fine quality furnishings and porcelain from Paris was Presidentially appropriate.

ulysses-grant-dessert-plate-1.jpg

STUNNING HAND-PAINTED ULYSSES S GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA DINNER PLATE - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The china that was designed for President Monroe features an eagle with its wings spread, the first time this motif was used as a Presidential “crest.” So Monroe’s china set a precedent in this regard as well. This porcelain is so beautiful that, even today, renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx considers it to be the most beautiful Official White House China ever.

Some of the furnishings purchased by James Monroe are still in use today. And thanks to the precedent he set, the tradition of Official White House China continues today. There is a financial footnote to this story, however. Over the years, the amount of china required to accommodate official State dinners has grown tremendously, with recent collections exceeding ten times the 30 place settings in Monroe’s service. The cost has grown exponentially as well. Therefore, since the time of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Presidency, Official White House China has not been funded by the government but by private donations from the President’s friends and key supporters.

clinton_china_full_set_4_pieces_clinton-white-house-china-1.jpgcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgTHE LOVELY BILL CLINTON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA SERVICE INCLUDES 300 TWELVE PIECE PLACE SETTINGS - MFG. BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION 

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

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX WORLD RENOWNED 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

Discover the difference between Official & Unofficial White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 10:22 AM

RONALD NANCY REAGAN WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

STUNNING 1981 RONALD REAGAN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE IN NEAR PRISTINE CONDITION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

When you peruse our website, you’re bound to see numerous references to Official White House China. Many Presidents and First Ladies have ordered a specially-designed porcelain service to be used for official purposes. It is an enduring part of each administration’s legacy. However, there is also such a thing as “unofficial” White House China. So what is the difference?

To be considered Official, Presidential china must meet two criteria:

1. It must have been used during the President’s term for official state dinners held to host foreign dignitaries.

2. It must have been used in the White House.

In the course of performing their job as Chief Executive, sitting Presidents of the United States eat thousands of meals, both in the White House and elsewhere. The President often stays and works at Camp David, accompanied by staff but also family members and/or guests who may even be foreign dignitaries. The President travels on Air Force One, which has its own sets of unofficial china service. Earlier in the 20th century, the President had an official yacht - with a separate unofficial china service - at his disposal for personal leisure or entertaining guests.

FDR FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE YACHT USS WILLIAMSBURG

LOVELY LENOX SERVICE PLATE FROM UNOFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA ORDERED BY FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT SPECIFICALLY FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL YACHT, THE USS WILLIAMSBURG - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

All of these are what we might call Official Presidential settings, so the porcelain used on any of them could be considered Presidential china. But none of these other locations is the actual White House, so the china does not quality as Official White House China.

AIR FORCE ONE CHINA JFK JOHN F KENNEDY CUP SAUCER

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

Even within the Executive Mansion, there are multiple sets of china. The Official service is not generally considered everyday china, although Presidents may use these pieces at any time, for any meal, formal or informal. Many Presidents and their First Ladies have ordered entirely separate dinnerware specifically for less formal occasions such as family dinners or lunch with friends. These collections are Presidential china, but not Official White House China.

RONALD NANCY REAGAN WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATEcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgHANDSOME 1983 RONALD REAGAN UNOFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE - SELECTED FOR EVERYDAY USE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT NEVER USED FOR OFFICIAL STATE DINNERS - MFG. BY FITZ & FLOYD - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION 

In other words, the porcelain may be Presidential, but if it wasn’t used by the President in the White House, for state dinners, it’s not Official.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. During the time of our earliest Presidents – George Washington and James Madison – there was no White House. Our first Chief Executives had to supply their own china. Today, the few remaining pieces from those collections are considered Official White House China because they were used by the then-President at their official executive residence for such things as official state dinners.

GEORGE WASHINGTON WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

ELEGANT GEORGE WASHINGTON PLATE - NEVER USED IN THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT STILL CLASSIFIED AS OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Ultimately, it is the White House Curator who decides which china qualifies as Official, based on presidential usage for official state dinner occasions. The White House even publishes a book that depicts official porcelain from each administration. However, perhaps the best way to learn about Presidential china is to study our website. Mr. Raleigh DeGeer Amyx is not only passionate about the extraordinary artistry seen in these unique pieces, he is a longtime student of U.S. Presidential history and the fine details that distinguish Official from Unofficial White House China.

WHITE HOUSE CHINA BOOK

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA BOOK, PUBLISHED BY THE WHITE HOUSE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, IS CONSIDERED BY RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX TO BE THE BIBLE FOR EXPERIENCED WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTORS

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

Determining the condition of Official White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

george washington white house china

ELEGANT 1786 GEORGE WASHINGTON OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL CHINA PLATE IN NEAR PRISTINE CONDITION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

There are certain criteria that collectors generally use to describe the condition of a particular item. However, renowned White House China collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx says he prefers to be more definitive.

In Mr. Amyx’s parlance, “perfect” means pristine or near pristine; because he acknowledges that perfection is in the eye of the beholder. “Excellent or overall fine” means the piece has a minor imperfection that does not detract from its overall appearance. From three feet away or so, the tiny imperfection would likely go unnoticed by most people. Beyond these two definitions, Mr. Amyx describes any particular condition issues on a piece-by-piece basis.

james k polk white house china dessert plate

STUNNING 1846 JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA DESSERT PLATE IN NEAR PRISTINE CONDITION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

When a potential buyer or seller contacts Mr. Amyx about a specific piece of Official White House China, sending a photo of the item, along with notation of any potential condition issues, including size and location would be helpful. For example, Mr. Amyx might note “minor imperfection at 6 o’clock” and provide a description such as – a tiny chip at the edge of the porcelain, or loss of paint in the design.

Collecting is, in part at least, the art of negotiation. “When you go to sell or trade a piece,” Mr. Amyx reveals, “the ‘opposition’ naturally wants to find flaws, so as to negotiate a lower price.” As a long-term, experienced collector of Official White House China, Mr. Amyx does not purchase or sell pieces that are not pristine or near pristine. You’ll pay more, he admits, but the item won’t have condition problems that will require little or no explanation.

ULYSSES GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA SAUCERcarter_w.h._china_full_shot_jimmy-carter-white-house-china-dinner-plate-1.jpgRARE 1868 ROSE MEDALLION COVERED DISH/SAUCIER FROM THE ULYSSES S. GRANT PRESIDENTIAL CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION 

Besides, when it comes to White House China, perceived value comes from more than physical condition. Most collectors feel an affinity for the items they collect – the type of item, or perhaps the individual piece. For Mr. Amyx, the connection is personal. “Multiple Presidents usually used this porcelain. They put food on it, and used it repeatedly.” The china is more than an artifact that existed in the White House.

In the case of White House China, the particular design might also affect its appeal. “Artwork shouldn’t matter,” says Mr. Amyx, “but it probably does affect impulsiveness.” If he thinks an item is more beautiful, Mr. Amyx may feel it’s more desirable and therefore be more inclined to buy it.

johnson_china_vero_marks_whc_lbj_verso_2.jpg

VERSO FROM A 1968 LYNDON B. JOHNSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Although we typically think of problems on the face of a plate that might affect condition, the back of a plate (or underside of a cup or bowl) may also have defects. There may be a chip underneath the rim, where it is not visible from the front. Or there may be minor damage to the base (the circular footing on the underside of the porcelain) that doesn’t affect the piece’s stability. But there is also another issue which may concern some prospective collectors -- a partial or missing stamped verso mark.

“Most bidders at an auction will have less experience with stamped markings,” Mr. Amyx notes, “and are therefore reluctant to bid higher on an item that has this perceived imperfection.” In the early 1800s, White House China, such as that produced for James Monroe carried trademarks that were applied by hand with a rubber stamp or stencil, then over glazed. But rubber stamps/stencils sometimes produced uneven marks, and they also wear out, so only traces of the trademark may appear on the verso, or nothing at all.

FDR ROOSEVELT WHITE HOUSE CHINA VERSO

VERSO ON 1934 FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The White House’s Official China book always shows plates with perfect stamps, but Mr. Amyx says a less-than-perfect stamp shouldn’t detract from the value. In fact, most of the older Presidential pieces do not have perfect stamp marks on the verso.

All that said, there is a type of trademark imperfection which does detract from the value. In the last 100 years or so, manufacturers such as Lenox have used decals to apply trademarks. For Official White House China, the trademarks include the words “White House” and the date. However, workers can be interrupted or distracted, forgetting to apply the decal, or a portion of the decal. This omission materially affects “condition” because it is a mistake that should have been caught at the factory before the porcelain was ever shipped.

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 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

rutherford-hayes-white-house-china-plate-front.jpg

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.

rutherford-hayes-white-house-china-plate-back.jpg

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.

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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

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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.”

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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.

WASHINGTON-CHINA-PHOTO-1-POST-RESTORATION-4-27-14.jpg

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.

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

 

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

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