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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.”

james-madison-china-lozenge-serving-plate-2.jpg

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.

MONROE-DESSERT-PLATE-POST-RESTORATION-2014.jpg

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.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA  AND/OR 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

A 200 year search ends for James Madison's White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, May 05, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

After a 200-year separation, the two rarest plates from the original official White House China order of James and Dolley Madison have been reunited. Their story underscores how collecting historical memorabilia can be both an art and a science, requiring not just an eye for beauty and a love of history but perseverance and well-honed detective skills.

The two plates that feature in this story are serving dishes – 9.5” diamond-shaped lozenges. After years of research, noted American historian and collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx was able to bring the pair back together and add them to his renowned and often-exhibited White House China Collection. They are extraordinarily rare because they are the only two of their kind, and they are two of just 29 pieces that remain today from the Madisons’ original 231-piece set of White House China.

madison_plates_rda_grant-resized-600

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX EXAMINES THE UNIQUE SERVING DISHES

In 1806, President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison ordered those 231 pieces of Presidential China from Paris, France. A few years later, the British attacked the United States in what has since become known as the War of 1812. The British invaders entered the White House and destroyed almost everything within the Executive Mansion, then set it ablaze. The Madisons’ specially-chosen White House china was gone.

After the war, in 1814, President Madison chose the only alternative available at the time, instructing that the china he had officially used as Secretary of State now be used at the White House. The dinnerware from France that had been destroyed then became known as Official White House China, and ever since it has been coveted by institutions, museums and advanced collectors.

Grant Quertermous, Assistant Curator of President Madison’s home in Montpelier, Virginia, worked with White House Curator Bill Allman to compile valuable historic information, revealing that, in fact, 29 pieces of the original Madison porcelain had survived. Three are presently at James Madison’s home. Eight reside at the White House. And Raleigh DeGeer Amyx now owns four of these rare Madison pieces, including the only pair of lozenge-shaped porcelain White House dinnerware.

james-madison-china-lozenge-serving-plate-1

2 OF THE 29 REMAINING PIECES OF WHITE HOUSE CHINA FROM JAMES MADISON'S COLLECTION

Not surprisingly, very rare china pieces are also very valuable. These days, it is easier to learn how valuable your historic pieces may be, thanks to the advent of Google. The internet also enabled Raleigh to acquire the two lozenges. When his website was upgraded, many more photographs were added showing pieces in Raleigh’s collection, including two round dinner plates from James and Dolley Madison’s official White House China.

Separate owners of the two lozenges – one in California and one in Texas – found Raleigh’s website, saw the matching dinner plates, and contacted him. Subsequently, one of the owners put their collection up for auction and Raleigh purchased the lozenge; the other owner sold their serving piece directly to him.

james-madison-portrait-painting-1

A PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON

Interestingly, one of the two lozenges now carries a calligraphed inscription, added years after the china was in use at the White House. The inscription, however, is historically inaccurate. Raleigh explains that he could have had an expert conservationist correct the calligraphy, but he has chosen not to do so.

An accomplished researcher himself when it comes to White House china and other memorabilia, Raleigh says it doesn’t matter to him that he wasn’t the sleuth to uncover the existence of a few surviving pieces of the Madisons’ porcelain. What is important, he says, is that the results are accurate – and Grant Quertermous was careful to record the owners’ names of each remaining piece.

Raleigh_in_Library_small_72

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired numerous pieces of official White House china including pieces from James Madison. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House 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.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA  AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA.

Tags: James Madison

James Madison - A Founding Father who Shaped American Values

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Nov 06, 2014 @ 06:33 PM

James Madison was very successful in shaping that words that would become the values and legal protections that we most value as Americans. Although Madison began his career in the leadership of the Virginia Militia, and served in many legislative bodies, including the Presidency of the United States, his legacy is built upon his ability to persuade and lead men with the pen. It has been noted that Madison's exceptional sense of priorities and profound influence led him to be on the winning side of every important issue that the young nation faced during his entire career. From early on, James Madison Jr. was groomed to be a political leader. The oldest of 12 children, Madison received most of his formal education from a Virginia boarding school during his teen years. James Madison later attended the College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton University. His studies focused on history, government, ethics, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, science, philosophy, and law.

james-madison-portrait-painting-1

JAMES MADISON - 4TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

A collaborator at heart, James Madison did not accept his nickname “Father of the Constitution”. In protest he proclaimed that he was one of many contributors who shaped the ideas that form the foundation of United States law. In addition to the Constitution, Madison also helped frame the Bill of Rights and early revenue legislation while serving in Congress.

Of the many concepts that Madison promoted, some of the most prominent were freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a speedy, public trial protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and forming a three-part government with executive, legislative, and judicial branches to provide a systems of checks and balances to avoid dominance of any one group.

james-madison-china-lozenge-serving-plate-1

1 OF 29 REMAINING ORIGINAL PIECES OF WHITE HOUSE CHINA FROM JAMES MADISON'S COLLECTION - THE ABOVE IS FROM THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

When James Madison was elected to be the 4th President of the United States in 1808, the young nation was struggling with import/export issues. The Embargo Act of 1807 was intended to neutralize trade disputes by forbidding trade with Great Britain and France, but instead it put the United States into economic disaster. This was the most pressing issue at hand when James Madison took office in 1808.

These world powers refused to comply with the terms of the legislation. In June of 1812, after the British seized American seamen and cargo, James Madison became the first president to declare war. But the young nation was ill-prepared for a military battle. The British seemed to have the upper hand as they marched on Washington, setting fire to the Capitol and the White House. It would seem a lost cause until a few pivotal battles were won, the most notable being a triumph in New Orleans, led by General Andrew Jackson. This ray of hope convinced the American public that the war effort had been successful.

dolley-todd-madison-portrait-painting-1
THE VERY POPULAR FIRST LADY - DOLLY MADISON

After completing two terms as President, Madison retired to his estate in Montpelier, Virginia with his wife Dolley Madison and her son. Madison continued to speak out about the challenges faced by the American leadership. The great man passed away at home in 1836 after suffering with liver dysfunction for several months. Even after his death, it is his words that are most pronounced. James Madison left behind this statement: “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. Let the open enemy be regarded as a Pandora with her box opened; and the disguised one, as the Serpent creeping with his deadly wiles into Paradise.”

raleigh-degeer-amyx-in-library

HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx is a world-renowned collector who has spent his life in the company of world leaders and individuals who, like James Madison, have shaped the world we live in. With a deep appreciation for American history, Mr. Amyx has had the pleasure of acquiring a vast collection of museum-quality historical memorabilia. His most prized possessions are found in his White House China Collection which is the largest privately-owned collection anywhere in the world. To discuss American historical memorabilia with Mr. Amyx, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA  AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA.

Tags: James Madison

WHITE HOUSE CHINA - WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - JAMES MADISON

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Apr 05, 2011 @ 01:08 PM

After a 200 year separation, the two rarest plates from the original official White House China order of James and Dolley Madison have been reunited.  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, noted American Historian and Collector has, after years of research, added the only pair of extremely rare lozenges, (diamond shaped), 9.5” serving dishes to his well-known and often exhibited White house China Collection (A.K.A.) The American Heritage Collection.

james madison white house chinaONE OF ONLY TWO LOZENGES SHAPED SERVING

DISHES OF JAMES & DOLLEY MADISON

The original order of 1806, from Paris, France, for 231 pieces of Presidential China, by President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison, had been lost or destroyed, with the exception of only 29 remaining pieces.  Assistant Curator, Grant Quertermous, of President Madison’s home, Montpelier, in Virginia, not far from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, along with Bill Allman, Curator of the White House, have compiled historic information of value, revealing that out of the original Madison porcelain order of 231 varied pieces, only 29 pieces survive.  Only three of these porcelain pieces are presently at James Madison’s home.  Only eight pieces reside at the White House. The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection has four of these rare Madison pieces, including the only pair of lozenges shaped porcelain White House dinnerware ever ordered by this Founding Father.

Curator Grant Quertermous of Madison’s Home, Montpelier, and  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, Historian and Collector, examining the two Rarest 1806 serving pieces of James and Dolley Madison

Curator Grant Quertermous of Madison’s Home, Montpelier, and  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, Historian and Collector, examining the two Rarest 1806 serving pieces of James and Dolley Madison

According to research, on the part of the White House, the Madison’s actually ordered their rare dinner service in 1806.  During the Presidential term of James Madison, the British attacked the United States in what has since been known as the War of 1812.  The attacking British invaders entered the White House and destroyed almost all within the Executive Mansion and set it ablaze.  Existing White House china was also destroyed.  Accordingly, the incumbent President, James Madison, instructed that the china he had officially used, as Secretary of State, now be used as Official White House China.  There was no other alternative in 1814.  After that this China became known as Official White House China and has been coveted by institutions, museums and advanced collectors ever since.

raleigh degeer amyxHISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX -2010

THE ABOVE RARE HISTORICAL PIECES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA ARE IN THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX (A.K.A.) THE AMERICAN HERITAGE COLLECTION.

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION,  AS WELL AS OTHER IMPORTANT HISTORICAL FACTS, YOU MAY WISH TO VIEW: HTTP://AMERICANHERITAGE1.COM


IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE CURATORS OFFICE HAS EVEN MORE UP TO DATE INFORMATION

 


Tags: Presidential Memorabilia, White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection, James Madison

WHITE HOUSE CHINA - JAMES MADISON DISCOVERY 2011- THE AMYX COLLECTION

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 @ 07:58 PM

After a 200 year separation, the two rarest plates from the original official White House China order of James and Dolley Madison have been reunited.  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, noted American Historian and Collector has, after years of research, added the only pair of extremely rare lozenges, (diamond shaped), 9.5” serving dishes to his well-known and often exhibited White house China Collection AKA The American Heritage Collection.

james madison white house chinaONE OF ONLY TWO LOZENGES SHAPED SERVING

DISHES OF JAMES & DOLLEY MADISON

The original order of 1806, from Paris, France, for 231 pieces of Presidential China, by President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison, had been lost or destroyed, with the exception of only 29 remaining pieces.  Assistant Curator, Grant Quertermous, of President Madison’s home, Montpelier, in Virginia, not far from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, along with Bill Allman, Curator of the White House, have compiled historic information of value, revealing that out of the original Madison porcelain order of 231 varied pieces, only 29 pieces survive.  Only three of these porcelain pieces are presently at James Madison’s home.  Only eight pieces reside at the White House. The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection has four of these rare Madison pieces, including the only pair of lozenges shaped porcelain White House dinnerware ever ordered by this Founding Father.

Curator Grant Quertermous of Madison’s Home, Montpelier, and  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, Historian and Collector, examining the two Rarest 1806 serving pieces of James and Dolley Madison

Curator Grant Quertermous of Madison’s Home, Montpelier, and  Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, Historian and Collector, examining the two Rarest 1806 serving pieces of James and Dolley Madison

According to research, on the part of the White House, the Madison’s actually ordered their rare dinner service in 1806.  During the Presidential term of James Madison, the British attacked the United States in what has since been known as the War of 1812.  The attacking British invaders entered the White House and destroyed almost all within the Executive Mansion and set it ablaze.  Existing White House china was also destroyed.  Accordingly, the incumbent President, James Madison, instructed that the china he had officially used, as Secretary of State, now be used as Official White House China.  There was no other alternative in 1814.  After that this China became known as Official White House China and has been coveted by institutions, museums and advanced collectors ever since.

raleigh degeer amyxHISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX -2010

 


THE ABOVE RARE HISTORICAL PIECES OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA ARE IN THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX. FOR DETAILED INFORMATION,  AS WELL AS OTHER IMPORTANT HISTORICAL FACTS, YOU MAY WISH TO VIEW: HTTP://AMERICANHERITAGE1.COM


IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE CURATORS OFFICE HAS EVEN MORE UP TO DATE INFORMATION

Tags: Presidential Memorabilia, White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection, James Madison

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