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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.

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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

President John Quincy Adams - An Exceptional Leader

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

J.Q. ADAMS YOUTH COLOR PORTRAIT   BLOG 2 14

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - SON OF PRESIDENT JOHN ADAMS AND FIRST LADY ABIGAIL ADAMS

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the 6th President of the United States and the eldest son of John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States, and Abigail Adams. John Quincy Adams was named in honor of Colonel John Quincy, Abigail Adams’ grandfather, who had passed away only a few days after his birth.

Diplomatic Grooming

As was the case with many of the early U.S. Presidents, John Quincy Adams was groomed for political leadership from a young age. President John Adams took John Quincy with him on many trips to Europe where he witnessed diplomacy first-hand and became very familiar with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

house john quincy adams in st petersburg resized 600RESIDENCE OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS IN ST PETERSBURG

Having lived in Europe for much of his upbringing, John Quincy Adams was a student at University of Leiden in the Netherlands. After only a year of studies, he was recruited to serve as secretary and translator for Francis Dana, the American Minister to Russia in St. Petersburg. During this time John Quincy Adams continued to study history, sciences, and languages. He was known to be fluent in French and German.

Early Career

In 1783, John Quincy returned to Paris to be his father’s personal secretary, during final negotiations that ended the American Revolutionary War. To complete his education, he attended Harvard College and after his graduation in 1785, he went on to prepare for the Massachusetts Bar Exam under the guidance of Theophilus Parsons, who later became a Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, as did Francis Dana.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMSJOHN QUINCY ADAMS - LIFELONG SCHOLAR AND LINGUIST

In 1794, John Quincy Adams was appointed Minister to the Netherlands by President George Washington. When John Adams was elected President in 1797, he appointed John Quincy Adams to be the U.S. Minister to Prussia, modern day Germany and Poland.

Courtship

When John Quincy Adams had been a young boy, traveling in Europe with his father, he had met many of his father’s colleagues and their families. Among them was an adorable girl, Louisa Catherine Johnson. He became reacquainted with her in London, where her father was the American Consul. She had become an educated, attractive and confident young woman. At that time, John Quincy Adams was 30 years old, a diplomat, and the son of a sitting United States President.

FIRST LADY LOUISA ADAMSFIRST LADY LOUISA ADAMS - BORN, RAISED, AND WED ABROAD - RESENTED BY SOME FOR NOT BEING BORN IN THE UNITED STATES

Following the customary courtship period, John Quincy Adams traveled to England to marry Louisa, who had been born and raised in Europe. They went on to live in Prussia until 1801 and together had four children.

As Senator

After John Adams lost his bid for reelection to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, John Quincy Adams returned to Massachusetts to become a Massachusetts State Senator. In 1803, he was appointed to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate where he remained until President James Madison appointed him U.S. Minister to Russia.

JQA WALL AT BUSH MUSEUMACCOMPLISHMENTS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMMEMORATED AT THE GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

When James Monroe was elected President, John Quincy Adams returned to the United States to serve as his Secretary of State from 1817 until 1825. He is well known for negotiating with Great Britain to resolve outstanding conflicts between the two countries. This successful resolution allowed for the friendly relations between the two nations that still remain intact until this very day.

Presidency

During 1824, four candidates competed for the popular vote. For the first time, 18 of the states would be decided by popular vote. The remaining 6 still relied on the state legislature. The race was very close. After Speaker of the House Clay came out in support of John Quincy Adams, Adams won the election by a single vote. These circumstances set the stage for a wretched struggle with Congress. John Quincy Adams lost his bid for reelection to Andrew Jackson in 1828.

John Quincy Adams 9175983 1 402 resized 600JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - DIPLOMAT, SECRETARY OF STATE, FOREIGN MINISTER, CONGRESSMAN, AND PRESIDENT

Surprisingly, after the end of his presidency, John Quincy Adams became a powerful leader in the House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in 1848. On February 21, 1848, John Quincy Adams was on the floor of the House when he was struck by a severe stroke. Two days later, he slipped into a coma after saying, “This is the end of earth, but I am content.” He died at the age of eighty on February 23, 1848.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WHITE HOUSE CHINA
ELEGANT AND NEAR PRISTINE ONE-PIECE CUSTARD CUP  AS OWNED AND USED BY PRESIDENT JOHN QUINCY ADAMS  FROM  -THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION - EXAMPLES ALSO IN THE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

 

Collection

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has recently acquired pieces from President John Quincy Adams’ official White House & private china. Mary Louisa Adams Clement (1882-1950), a direct descendant of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams, stated that a French set was purchased by John Quincy Adams, when he served as the American Ambassador to Russia from 1809 to 1814.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYXHISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

ATTN: COLLECTORS OR RETIRED LENOX, PICKARD,  CASTLETON, TIFFANY, WEDGWOOD,  AND WHITE HOUSE EMPLOYEES.  SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA.

Tags: John Quincy Adams

ABIGAIL ADAMS - AN IMPRESSIVE & HIGHLY SKILLED FIRST LADY

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Mon, Jul 01, 2013 @ 08:01 AM

Attorney John Adams was struck by the tall, slender Abigail when he first he saw her while visiting her parents’ home. Touched by her intelligence, vast knowledge and great sense of humor, he later asked for her hand in marriage. It was her father, a Congregationalist minister, who performed their marriage ceremony. John Adams was 10 years her senior. Their marriage was warm and loving and Abigail was his most trusted lifetime advisor.

Young Abigail Adams

ABIGAIL ADAMS -  AS SHE WAS IN HER EARLY YEARS

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) was the wife of the United States’ first Vice President and second President John Adams and the mother of the 6th President, John Quincy Adams (although he was not elected President until several years after her death). President Adams groomed John Quincy Adsams for political office by having him accompany him on many diplomatic excursions.

She was strongly committed to supporting her husband's political career. Despite her frequent bouts of illness, she was known as a personable and pleasant woman who was resourceful, competent, and self-sufficient.  They conceived 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Unfortunately one of the girls died before birth and another daughter died from an illness early on.

Abigail Adams

ABIGAIL ADAMS - LOVING WIFE OF THE 2ND PRESIDENT AND DEVOTED MOTHER OF THE 6TH PRESIDENT OF THE NEWLY FORMED UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

An advocate for many causes, Abigail Adams called for the emancipation of slaves and women’s rights. She argued for a woman’s right to own property and have access to a public education equal to that of men. Mrs. Adams had not attended school herself; she learned to read and write at home. The extensive libraries of her father and grandmother allowed her to explore many subjects. She took an interest in many subjects including theology, ancient history, and law.

During the revolutionary years, her life was far from glamourous. She struggled with food shortages, insufficient income, and sparse living conditions. A competent manager, she did what was necessary to manage their farm and educate their children.

More than 1,000 letters between the President and First Lady have been discovered, many of which have been published. Because they were often geographically separated for months and or years, written correspondence was their primary form of communication. First Lady Abigail Adams was well known for expressing her opinions to her husband and other important figures. This habit made her the target of public attack and she responded with passion.

Painting of Abigail Adams Reading a Letter

PAINTING OF FIRST LADY ABIGAIL ADAMS READING CORRESPONDENCE FROM HER HUSBAND JOHN ADAMS

Mrs. Adams sometimes traveled with her husband when he went abroad. In Paris, she became fascinated with French culture and later enjoyed living in Great Britain. By the time Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in his quest for re-election, Abigail Adams had become tired of public life. She gladly settled into a simple life in Quincy for the rest of her days.

Aside from writing, Abigail Adams also displayed great talent in embroidery. The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection is proud to proclaim the possession of historically significant personal items that were not only owned by, but also crafted by the First Lady herself.

Collage of Items Owned by Abigail Adams

REMARKABLE COLLECTION ILLUSTRATING THE SKILLS OF ABIGAIL ADAMS -  OF SUPREME HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

In the photo above, to the rgith, there is a samll photograph of Gilbert Stuart’s painting of Abigail Adams, currently on display in the US National Gallery. Notice that the dress Abigail Adams was wearing while posing for the painting. An actual remnant of the fabric in the bodice of the dress sits to the left of the photo with remnants of the lace shawl to the right. The silk sewing case at the top was elegantly embroidered by the First Lady. The entire collection is properly authenticated by the pictured card, as well as a note, penned by Mrs. Adams’ granddaughter, Elizabeth Coombs Adams. All pieces, above and below, are currently in The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

interior of silk needle case made by Abigail Adams

IMPRESSIVE EMBELISHMENTS OF NEEDLE CASE INTERIOR - BY ABIGAIL ADAMS

Abagail Adams's needle case. hand-made by her, is comprised of off-white silk with underlying reinforcement for added strength. It measures 3.5" x 10" and the inside pocket covers are decorated with a dove carrying an olive branch on the left and a rose-colored flowering vine on the right. This stunning 18th Century piece was also made by Mrs. Adams.

Floral Embroidery            Floral Embroidery

DETAILED ELEGANT FLORAL EMBROIDERY CRAFTED BY FIRST LADY ABIGAIL ADAMS - FOR 25 YEARS IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Perhaps the most remarkable features of this silk needle case are the carefully embroidered flowers on the outside layers. Each cluster of flowers is balanced with buds as well as blooms. And, by using three or more shades of the primary color, the illusion of shading is achieved. Just imagine First Lady Abigail Adams, in the earliest years of the United States, carefully crafting her needle case as she waited patiently for her husband to return from his lengthy world travels.

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx

HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR OF HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

This and many other museum quality artifacts make up the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection. Mr. Amyx has been an avid historian and collector for much of his life. His extensive collection is known throughout the world. The knowledge he has acquired has been called upon by the highest industry and government officials. If you would like to discuss historically significant artifacts with Mr. Amyx make an effort to reach out to him.

 

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Tags: John Quincy Adams, John Adams

John Quincy Adams: A Remarkable Statesman and President

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Mon, Oct 08, 2012 @ 02:28 PM

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) – was born in Massachusetts in 1767. The son of a remarkable mother and father – Abigail Adams and John Adams. As a boy of 9 years, he witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill with his Mother. Because of the connections of John Quincy Adams (Pictured below); from a family point of view, he spent much of his childhood in Europe, becoming the benefactor of advanced education in more ways than one.

john quincy adams portrait painting 1THE VENERABLE JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Upon his return to the United States, young Adams studied at Harvard and then studied law. In 1802 was elected to the United States Senate. He also served as the United States Minister to Russia and turned down an appointment to the United States Supreme Court. In 1814, he negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, which culminated in the ending of the War of 1812. From 1815 to 1817, Adams served as the Minister to Great Britain. From 1817 to 1825, he was Secretary of State in the Monroe Administration, at which time he signed the Document illustrated just below, currently in The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection. In addition, Adams was a strong supporter of the doctrine which later became known as the Monroe Doctrine. This famed Doctrine limited European involvement of affairs in the Western Hemisphere.

james monroe document granting ship passage 1A VELLUM SHIP'S PASSPORT SIGNED BY JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AND JAMES MONROE, IN IMPECCABLE QUALITY AND NEAR-MINT CONDITION — NOW IN THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION

In 1825, John Quincy Adams was Inaugurated President of the United States and called for the Federal Expenditure of Canals and Roadways to link the United States. He also proposed government support for scientific research, a novel concept to be so Early in our History.

CLIPPER SHIP|JAMES MONROE|J.Q. ADAMS|SHIPS PASSPORT|EARLY AMERICAN CLIPPER SHIP

After his retirement from his Presidency, John Quincy Adams enjoyed a lasting career in the United States House of Representatives, lasting 17 years until he suffered a massive stroke. Fittingly, Adams passed away in the United States Capitol in 1848 – All in all, a superb example of an American Public Servant – perhaps something more Americans should strive to be.

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx: Historian and CollectorRALEIGH DEGEER AMYX: HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

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Tags: The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams

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