THE UNIQUE OBAMA OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION WAS MANUFACTURED IN ANTIOCH, ILLINOIS BY PICKARD CHINA IN 2015
In the last century, most new sets of White House china have been manufactured by well-known companies, both European and American – Wedgwood and Lenox, for example. However, President Barack and Michelle Obama selected Pickard China of Antioch, Illinois to hand-craft their official presidential china service. The Pickard name may not be as famous as other companies that produce fine quality dinnerware, but the company works to exacting standards and has developed a dedicated, upscale clientele.
Unveiled to the public in April, the Obama Official White House China service includes pieces with an unusual blue-green color around the rim. It’s a shade chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama and dubbed “Kailua Blue” because it represents the color of the ocean in Hawaii, where President Obama grew up.
Pickard president Andrew Pickard Morgan noted, "It was an incredible honor to be selected as the manufacturing resource for the Obama White House china service. . . producing china for the White House was certainly something that was very special for everyone working at the company."
THIS ELEGANT CUP AND SAUCER FROM THE 2015 OBAMA COLLECTION DISPLAY THE EXCLUSIVE "KAILUA BLUE" ACCENT COLOR SELECTED BY FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO REPRESENT HAWAII, WHERE THE PRESIDENT GREW UP
The Obamas may have been the first President and First Lady to choose Pickard to design their official legacy White House China, but this was not the first time Pickard has been called upon to supply dinnerware for use by American officials. The company was chosen in 1977 to create an official china service for the U.S. Department of State, to be used at its diplomatic missions and embassies worldwide. This china features an embossed gold border with stars and stripes and an embossed version of the Great Seal of the United States.
Pickard was also commissioned to design and manufacture dinnerware for Camp David, which is still in use today, as well as for Blair House, the official presidential guest house in Washington, DC. Pickard also created the dinnerware used on Air Force One. In 2008, the company collaborated with the Anna Weatherly line to help produce the Magnolia Residence China Service for President George W. Bush and his wife Laura. The less formal pattern was created to be used in private quarters.
THE 2008 MAGNOLIA RESIDENCE CHINA SERVICE FROM THE SECOND GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION INCLUDES ORNATE CHARGERS WITH A LARGE ELEGANT MAGNOLIA IN THE CENTER
So who is Pickard China? Founded in 1893 in Wisconsin, the company originally produced one-of-a-kind hand-painted tea and dessert sets as well as art pieces. The company moved to Antioch in 1930 and began making china dinnerware in 1937. Pickard is still a small family-owned business, extremely unusual compared to its very large “corporate” competitors. Nonetheless, it is considered one of the world’s top producers of fine china.
Aside from the Kailua Blue band on some of the pieces, Andrew Pickard Morgan says the Obama White House china service is unique in another way. "Two of the items, the dinner plate and individual soup tureen, are unique bas-relief shapes that had to be designed from scratch for this project,” he explains. “It took us more than a year and countless trial pieces to get the individual tureen bowl completed. It was really incredible to see the group of my employees tasked with developing this item coming in early to work because they just couldn't wait to see the latest trial piece coming off one of our kilns.”
THE INDIVIDUAL SOUP TUREEN FROM THE 2015 OBAMA COLLECTION IS A UNIQUE SHAPE THAT HAD TO BE DESIGNED FROM SCRATCH
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 as well as 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.