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The well Documented History of Andrew Jackson's Rare Decanter

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

PG.35 AD WINE DECANTER 21884-1-1

THE IMPRESSIVE ANDREW JACKSON 12 7/8" FULL LENGTH HAND-CUT WINE DECANTER - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Just because a decanter serves a functional purpose doesn’t mean it can’t be exceptionally lovely too. Ever since the introduction of the glass decanter -- around 1700, created so British wine drinkers could see and remove the sediment in their unfiltered French and Italian red wines – glassblowers and artists have felt the urge to decorate these vessels. But it’s hard to imagine any more beautiful result than the Andrew Jackson cut crystal wine decanter that resides in the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

Anyone familiar with Official White House China knows that Mr. Amyx is one of the nation’s premier collectors of this unique and historic porcelain memorabilia. Through the years, he has indeed focused on porcelain – exceptional examples of the plates, bowls, and serving pieces commissioned and used by America’s Presidents. Occasionally, however, a rare non-porcelain opportunity presents itself.

Jackson Official White House China crystal decanter

A CLOSE-UP OF THE ARTISTICALLY HAND-CUT SEAL AS ACCOMPLISHED BY SKILLED ARTISTS WITH THE BAKEWELL & PAGE COMPANY IN 1829
SEE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE

When Andrew Jackson took office as our 7th President in 1829, he determined there was no need to order new official china to use for state dinners. But he did commission a 435-piece service of custom-designed crystal glassware, including water bottles and water glasses, celery vases, wine glasses, and wine decanters. The order was placed with the Bakewell & Page Company of Pittsburgh.

In the 1900s, Pittsburgh was considered the epicenter of American glassmaking, thanks in large part to Benjamin Bakewell, who started making luxury engraved glassware shortly after the turn of the century. His company also produced a collection of glassware for President James Monroe in 1817.

andrew-jackson-portrait

GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845)
OUR 7TH PRESIDENT (1829-1837)

The pieces commissioned by Andrew Jackson were all hand-blown, hand-cut, and hand-engraved. They featured a circlet of grape vines and a depiction of the Presidential Seal. Interestingly, the federal eagle that forms the centerpiece of this official seal breaks with tradition. Usually, the eagle is shown holding arrows in its left talons and an olive branch on the right, symbolizing the balance between power and peace. However, on the Jackson glassware, the eagle holds a laurel branch and a palm frond on the right – both symbolizing victory.

We don’t know whether President Jackson himself requested the change, or if it was a result of artistic license taken by Bakewell’s designer. Because this glassware was produced almost 200 years ago, it’s hard to imagine that many pieces remain, though the White House historic collection does include a few rare examples. So how did Raleigh DeGeer Amyx acquire such a rare Presidential decanter?

This particular piece was still in use at the White House when Theodore Roosevelt became President. As he was known to do from time to time, President Roosevelt presented the decanter to his good friend and military aide, Major Archibald Butt, who had also served as an aide to President Taft. In fact, it was William Howard Taft who delivered the eulogy at Major Butt’s funeral after the sinking of the Titanic, on which the Major had been an ill-fated passenger.

HARDING Official White House China crystal glass   THE EXQUISITE MONOGRAMMED CRYSTAL OF PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Before his death, however, Archibald Butt passed the decanter along to Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby, Theodore Roosevelt’s fourth child, along with a hard-written note. Mrs. Derby willed the decanter to her daughter, Edith Roosevelt Derby Williams, who kept it until her death in 2008.

Families have two options when it comes to estate disposition, says Raleigh DeGeer Amyx. They can use an auction house, but that process can take several months and there is a risk that the auction house or auctioneer might not describe pieces well enough to draw the best price. Alternatively, there is the chance of a private sale, which might be concluded to the benefit of everyone, quickly. These days, a potential seller, or an attorney representing the estate, can search online to find a potential buyer. Because Mr. Amyx’s expertise and collection are so prominent, these individuals sometimes contact him.

FDR Roosevelt Official White House China crystal bowl   
THE ELEGANT HAND-CUT CRYSTAL AS ORDERED BY FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

And that’s how the Jackson decanter made the most recent leg of its multi-presidential journey. The Jackson decanter is not only elegant, rare, and uniquely historic, it fits nicely within the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection. After all, glassware is something of a “cousin” to Official White House China, says Mr. Amyx, because it is also essential tableware at Presidential state dinners. The Amyx Collection also includes cut crystal from the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harding presidencies, a finger bowl and cordial glasses.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - IMPOSING HISTORIAN & 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.

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Tags: White House China, Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson: A Life of Luck or Divine Providence?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Andrew Jackson 

ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845)
PRESIDENT (1829-1837)  

Andrew Jackson achieved notoriety as the first sitting American president to become the target of an assassination attempt. However, that historic event was not Jackson’s first escape from death.

Fatherless since infancy, 13-year-old Andrew Jackson joined the Continental Army, along with his older brothers Hugh and Robert, to fight the British. Because Andrew was too young to qualify for a combat role, he served as a courier. Nonetheless, he and Robert were captured by the British and held prisoner. During this time, young Andrew reportedly refused to polish the boots of a British officer, who promptly drew his sword and slashed at Jackson, hitting him in the head and hand. Jackson carried the scars the rest of his life.

While prisoners, Andrew and Robert both contracted smallpox. They were released, but Robert died shortly thereafter. Andrew managed to survive the dual ordeal of prison and life-threatening illness. To this day, he remains the only U.S. President ever to have been a prisoner of war.

Andrew Jackson

PRESIDENT JACKSON BECAME KNOWN AS A MILITARY HERO FOR THE LEADERSHIP ROLE HE PLAYED IN THE WAR OF 1812, WHICH LASTED TWO AND HALF YEARS

More than a half-century later, President Andrew Jackson traveled from the White House to the Capitol to attend a congressional funeral, on January 30, 1835. As he was leaving the House chamber afterward, a man pulled out a pistol and fired at Jackson. The pistol jammed, but the attempted shot angered the President, who took after the man with his cane. The man pulled out a second pistol and shot at Jackson again, and this pistol also jammed. Thankfully, at this point the prospective assassin was restrained and arrested. He was identified as Richard Lawrence, an unemployed painter.

Embroiled in a political battle over his refusal to back refunding of the Bank of the United States, the President believed Lawrence had been hired by his Whig opponents to kill him. Worried that he might be the next target, Vice President Martin Van Buren made a point of carrying two loaded pistols when visiting the Capitol.

Andrew Jackson

OUR NATION'S SEVENTH PRESIDENT HAS A CONSTANT PRESENCE IN OUR DAILY LIVES ON THE FACE OF THE AMERICAN TWENTY DOLLAR BILL 
Over the years, scholars have considered President Jackson’s Whig party conspiracy theory unfounded. And, in fact, Lawrence’s behavior before and during his trial was so bizarre that the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. Richard Lawrence spent the rest of his life in a mental institution.

President Jackson was indeed lucky to elude death twice in quick succession thanks to the misfiring pistols. The odds of that happening were 1 in 125,000. Smithsonian Institution researchers wondered what had happened, so a century after the assassination attempt occurred, they examined the two pistols. They found both guns to be in good working order, and the mystery of the malfunctions has never been solved.

In the end, Andrew Jackson believed he had been spared by divine providence.
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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.

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Tags: Andrew Jackson

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