Featured in this writing, from The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection (a.k.a.) The American Heritage Collection, is the elegant White House China of America's 11th President - James K. Polk.
In particular, note below the recently located example, that until november 2011, had been kept through generations of one family - since a White House Dinner hosted by President Polk, circa 1847- 48 - over one-hundred years ago. It was at that White House State Dinner that either the First Lady or The President is said as to gift this never before identified example of one of the original 36 hand-painted Polk Dessert Plates. Each Polk Dessert Plate featured different examples of State flowers in The United States of America. To, over one-hundred years later, uncover one of the original 36 Polk plates is a fortunate historic find indeed.
THE BREATHTAKING 9" DESSERT PLATE FROM THE POLK PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF 1846 - WITH HAND-PAINTED STATE FLOWERS - REPRESENTING THE 36 AMERICAN STATES
A VIVID CLOSE-UP OF THE ORNATE SHIELD AND RIM OF THE 1846 PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF JAMES K. POLK
President Polk and his First Lady, Sarah Childress Polk, received at The White House this impressive 9.5" Official Presidential Dinner Plate, in 1846. There were ONLY 36 in this original Official White House China Order. This example is one of those 36. And although President Tyler or Fillmore did reorder a few pieces of The White House China Service of Polk, there were nuances of variation in the Dessert Plate reorder.
This elegant Presidential Service was manufactured by Edouard D. Honore' of Champroux, France. Take special note of the "American Shield" at the top center – the very first time Red, White & Blue colors were ever used on Official White House State Dinner China. Shortly after Polk's Inauguration on March 3,1845, President Polk asked his close friend, William Corcoran (1798 to 1888), to supervise the furnishings of The White House. Thus it was Mr. Corcoran that spearheaded the purchase of the President's new Official State Dinner Service in 1846.
THE ORNATELY ELEGANT WHITE HOUSE CHINA & 9.5" DINNER PLATE OF PRESIDENT JAMES K. POLK - IN 1846
OUR 11TH PRESIDENT - JAMES K. POLK OF TENNESSEE (1795 - 1949)
The Polk White House China Service decoration includes, on the border of each impressive porcelain piece, a "Polychrome Shield", of the United States, behind the National Motto, "E. Pluribis Unum", on the eye-catching floating Ribbon/Banner. The Polk Dessert Service displays a Green Border with the American Shield, within gold borders; each with a hand-painted botanically accurate State Flower - each representing the individual States of America and featured in the center of each elegant piece. It was in March of 1846, that the new Official Presidential Service arrived at The White House to begin its first Official State Dinner use in The East Room.
TENNESSEE'S FIRST LADY - SARAH CHILDRESS POLK (1803 -1891)
President James K. Polk served only One-Term as our President. But that Presidential Service is considered, by a host of American Historians, to be one of the most impressive of them all. This was a President that set firm goals and made concrete promises to the American people. Polk delivered on each and every one of them. That has not gone unnoticed by Historians. Today President Polk is ranked in the near-great category, along with Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and very few others.
Unfortunately, President James K. Polk lived only 103 days after his One-Term as our President, passing away at the age of only 53. Thus, he was not around nearly long enough to continue his legacy or highlight his own achievements. It was left to later Americans to offer up a Clarion Call, to set straight the momentous achievements of James K. Polk.
HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX - THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 2010