Blog

The 9 Most Beautiful Examples of White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Apr 06, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Everyone knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But picking favorites among the many collections of stunning Official White House China is no mere beauty contest. For renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, it’s about the art – and the fact that the magnificence of each service also reflects the context of its time.

“In a portrait gallery,” he explains, “you walk into a room filled with masterpieces yet you’re drawn to certain one(s) that move you, like a song that makes you feel something.” asked to name his White House china favorites, he chose nine, noting it was “easy” to identify the first four, but hard to decide beyond that because each collection is outstanding in its own way. This is the countdown of his nine favorite White House China examples.

harry-truman-white-house-china-plate-1.jpg

STUNNING 1951 SERVICE PLATE FROM THE HARRY S. TRUMAN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTIONS HERE

#9. Harry S. Truman

Similar in many ways to Woodrow Wilson’s White House China, the Truman collection exudes overall elegance. The richly-patterned green, gold, deep ivory and white provide an aesthetically appropriate harmony for official state dinners. This service is historically important because it depicts the federal eagle as “reversed” by Truman’s Executive Order in 1945, showing the eagle facing the olive branch of peace rather than the arrows of war.

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

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

#8. James Polk

Though more subtle than the surprising shapes of the Hayes china, the ornately scalloped plates are themselves works of art, reflecting a different artist’s imagination. They create a visual frame for the extensive gilded designs as well as beautifully hand-painted flowers on the dessert plates – 36 flowers to denote the 36 states in the Union. With this china, a new presidential shield is depicted for the first time in red, white and blue.

hayes_w.h_china_full_oriole_shot_rutherford-hayes-dessert-plate-1.jpg

ELEGANT HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATE FROM 1879 RUTHEFORD B. HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & CO - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#7. Rutherford B. Hayes

There is nothing subtle about the unusual plate shapes in this White House China collection. “You either like it, or you don’t,” says Mr. Amyx. Each plate seems to have been designed to frame its colorfully detailed, hand-painted wildlife. The non-traditional aspects of this china extend to the always-present presidential emblem – it is equally colorful, but appears only on the verso. Pieces from the original 1879 order are most collectible. Although the “cypher” on the verso was supposedly rendered in red, white and blue, it appears to be gold, turquoise and orange. ”

benjamin-harrison-china-breakfast-plate-1.jpg

GORGEOUS BREAKFAST PLATE FROM THE 1891 BENJAMIN HARRISON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY TRESSEMANES AND VOGT - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#6. Benjamin Harrison

First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison was a very talented artist, and it is her, in part, own artwork that adorns the border of this striking White House China. In fact, it is so pretty, subsequent presidents chose to reorder the same pattern rather than make any changes. That makes some Harrison china easier for collectors to locate. However, the pièce de résistance among this collection is the rarer and more valuable morning breakfast plate that features a double border.

ulysses-grant-dessert-plate-1.jpg

LOVELY STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1869 ULYSSES S. GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#5. Ulysses S. Grant

With this extraordinary china, the subtly scalloped edges of the plates offer a distinctive design element. But the large, beautifully detailed flowers are the main presence – 24 in all, allowing each place setting at smaller dinner gatherings to be different. This dinnerware also introduces a new presidential emblem, again chosen by the artist and approved by President and/or Mrs. Grant.

lyndon-johnson-white-house-china-1.jpg

BEAUTIFUL SERVICE PLATE FROM THE 1968 LYNDON B. JOHNSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY CASTLETON CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#4. Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson used her influence as First Lady to promote beautification of America’s roadsides through planting wildflowers. The state china she helped design reflects that same theme – not only pretty but perhaps a floral political statement as well. "Photos simply do not do this china justice," notes Mr. Amyx. He admits he especially loves the eagle, which borrows from Monroe and Lincoln depictions.

ronald-reagan-white-house-china-1.jpg

IMPECCABLE STATE DINNER SERVICE PLATE FROM THE 1981 RONALD REAGAN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#3. Ronald Reagan

This china’s extraordinary creativity and beauty show in the bold scarlet border (Nancy Reagan’s favorite color), bounded by gold cross-hatching on the service and dessert plates. "The color and design are both striking, like a lady in a perfect red dress," yet they take their inspiration from artistic elements in early White House China patterns.

abraham-lincoln-white-house-china-1.jpg

CLASSIC STATE DINNER PLATE FROM THE 1861 ABRAHAM LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & COMPANY - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#2. Abraham Lincoln

Presidents are America’s version of royalty, so this china also features a variation of Royal Purple – in this case a rich, warm tone called Solferino, chosen personally by Mary Todd Lincoln. This stunning china carries forward the Monroe eagle to represent the president, but now the eagle holds arrows of war and an olive branch of peace and is accompanied by a banner that reads “E Pluribus Unum.”

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

PRISTINE DESSERT PLATE FROM THE JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION CIRCA 1820 - MANUFACTURED BY DAGOYT AND HONORE - BOTH PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

#1. James Monroe

This was the first time an American president had a Congressionally-approved budget to buy china for formal White House occasions. Previous presidents had brought their personal dinnerware with them, so there was no precedent regarding what constituted “officially appropriate” china. "What should the presidential emblem look like? The Monroe service, like several other early designs, is presidential china as seen through the eyes of the artist." Every detail imagined and hand-painted, from the unusual marbled purplish-blue border to the bald eagle with widespread wings.

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.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson, White House China, Ulysses S. Grant, James K. Polk, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, James Monroe, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison

Lyndon Baines Johnson: Helicopter Man

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Lyndon Johnson

LYNDON B. JOHNSON (1908-1973)
OUR 36TH PRESIDENT (1963-1969)

Lyndon Baines Johnson was reportedly so fond of helicopters he used a helicopter seat as his desk chair in the Oval Office while president. Perhaps that love of rotor-craft came from the fact that helicopters played a pivotal role in Johnson’s political career.

The story starts in the summer of 1948. LBJ, then a Congressman from Texas, decided to run for the Senate instead. However, he made this decision just seven weeks before the primary election. Johnson’s top confidant at the time was John Connally, who was then an attorney. How, they strategized, could the relatively unknown Johnson get his face and message in front of voters throughout the enormous state? Most people lived in small, rural communities well apart from one another.

lyndon johnson china

INTRICATE SERVICE PLATE FROM THE LBJ OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES A MAGNIFICENT WILDFLOWER THEME - MANUFACTURED BY CASTLETON WITH DESIGN INPUT FROM TIFFANY AND COMPANY OF NEW YORK- PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION.
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

They considered using an airplane, but Johnson thought a helicopter would offer two advantages. First, it could take him anywhere, including tiny burgs without an airstrip. Second, arriving in a helicopter would add unparalleled panache to his campaign. He needed something to grab attention, if he was going to win the primary, and this was it.

In the late 1940s, helicopters were still a new addition to the world of aircraft. They were far more dangerous than today’s models, and rarely used to transport civilian passengers. So they were a tremendous novelty. Most Americans had never seen one, though they may have seen pictures of helicopters in action on newsreels.

lyndon johnson walnut cigar box.

WALNUT CIGAR BOX PRESENTED TO JOHNSON ON A TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The Johnson Senatorial campaign set off in a Bell 47. He reportedly flew and gave speeches six days a week, visiting anywhere from 13 to 30 communities. Time magazine called his plan the “first new gimmick to hit Texas politicking since the hillbilly band and the free barbecue.”

Cars with bullhorns on the roof blared their way through each town shortly before Johnson landed, encouraging a crowd to gather. Lyndon Johnson knew people were there to see the new flying machine, not him. To keep them around long enough to hear his political message, he supposedly used another gimmick. He’d say, “My good pilot Joe tells me it’ll be too dangerous if I take off with him because we wouldn’t have enough power to clear those 30,000-volt high-tension wires over there. He’s going to have to take off alone. And it’s going to be a might tight. I just hope and pray he’ll be able to make it.”

LBJ helicopter

LBJ'S CAMPAIGN HELICOPTER - THE JOHNSON'S BELL HELICOPTER STOCK MADE THEM A FORTUNE DURING THE VIETNAM WAR

Then he’d give his speech while his audience watched the helicopter. It worked. It took only one week for LBJ to pull within 10 points of his rival. Everyone wanted in on the action, including political leaders in communities across Texas, who begged to have the “Johnson City Windmill” visit their town.

Years later, as President, Johnson routinely traveled by helicopter, especially to and from his ranch in Texas.

Historians say LBJ got a lot more from helicopters than campaign appeal. It was the Vietnam War – an event inextricably linked with President Johnson -- that fueled development of the helicopter in general and the design of multiple variations to serve different specific purposes. That sealed the fortune of Bell Helicopters. Close friends with the Bell family from the beginning, Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson both made a fortune from their Bell stock.

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.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson - An Active Advocate for Civil Rights - And "Selma"

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

With the release of the Hollywood movie “Selma,” President Lyndon Baines Johnson is back in the news. Although the movie depicts LBJ as initially not supportive of the civil rights movement, in fact he was a major political instrument in promoting and pushing through several pieces of legislation that forever changed America.

Selma-Movie

POSTER FOR RECENT MOVIE - SELMA - ©PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Lyndon Johnson ascended to the presidency under the worst possible circumstances, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. But while Kennedy had been well-respected for his stirring oratory and charisma, he had not been able to persuade Congress to enact new civil rights laws. Johnson, however, was an old hand at getting things done in Congress. In addition, President Johnson had the power of the sympathy factor going for him, as a result of the assassination. LBJ immediately put his skills to work to move forward Kennedy’s proposals.

From those efforts, three pieces of landmark legislation emerged, all of which were part of LBJ’s effort to encourage Americans to transform country into “a great society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the marvels of man’s labor.” The label Great Society has always been associated with Johnson’s social change policies.

x_Lyndon_Johnson

THE RESOLUTE LYNDON B. JOHNSON - 36TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first significant legislation of its kind since the Reconstruction, designed to outlaw segregation in the workplace, in schools and at “public accommodations.” It prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin and banned the former practice of applying different voter registration requirements to white and black citizens.

In an speech before both houses of Congress on March 15, 1965, Johnson introduced what would become known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying, “At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.”

lyndon-johnson-white-house-china-1

A PRISTINE SERVICE PLATE BELONGING TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON – PART OF RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

President Johnson went on, “There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Selma. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight. … Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.”

The Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law in August 1965, further outlawed racial discrimination at the polls. This legislation was subsequently amended five times as Congress sought to expand the Act’s protections under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The US Department of Justice describes the Voting Rights Act as America’s most effective civil rights legislation.

In 1965, Johnson also became the first President to appoint an African American to his cabinet, when he made Thurgood Marshall US Solicitor General. Two years later, LBJ nominated Marshall to become the first African American Justice of the US Supreme Court.

Selma-articleLarge

PRESIDENT JOHNSON WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AS LBJ DISTRIBUTES OFFICIAL BILL-SIGNER PENS FROM HIS SIGNING OF THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION

And in 1968, Johnson spearheaded efforts to pass another Civil Rights Act, sometimes known as the Fair Housing Act because it was aimed at ensuring equal housing opportunity regardless of race, creed or national origin. This legislation also made it a federal crime to use force or threat of force to “injure, intimidate or interfere with anyone” because of their race, color, religion or national origin.

While the country faced other significant domestic and international challenges during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, he will always be especially remembered for his commitment to establishing true equality among all United States citizens.

Raleigh_in_Library_small_72

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces from Lyndon B. Johnson's official White House China Collection. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. Mr. Amyx's 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.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon Johnson and the Monumental Voting Rights Act of 1965

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

On August 6, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed The Voting Rights Act into law changing election laws throughout the United States. Before this moment, many African Americans who wished to vote in nine states, most in the South, had to first prove their eligibility through literacy tests and character evaluations. The law allowed for the appointment of Federal voting examiners who would supervise voter registration and polling practices to ensure that the law was enforced. Within 5 months, 250,000 African Americans registered to vote for the very first time.

lyndon johnson martin luther king photo 1LYNDON B. JOHNSON WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Section 2 of the Act closely resembled the content of the 15th amendment which prohibited the denial or abridgment of the right to vote throughout the United States with the use of literacy tests. In addition, it called for new enforcement provisions in areas of the country that were seen to have the greatest potential for racial discrimination. Section 5, stated jurisdictions must have any election regulations preapproved by the federal government to ensure that they were not discriminatory in their intent or application.

Each time the Voting Rights Act was set to expire, the American leadership honored its vital role in the progress that had been achieved. In 1970 The Act was extended by President Richard Nixon, in 1975 it was extended by President Gerald Ford and revised to include a provision for bilingual voting instructions and materials. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan extended the Act for 25 years and then Congress extended it for 15 years in 1992. Finally, in 2006, it was reauthorized for an additional 25 years.

lyndon johnson on phone photo 1PRESIDENT JOHNSON PLAYED A CRUICIAL ROLE IN ENSURING MINORITY VOTING RIGHTS

In June 2013, a controversial case, Shelby v. Holder, was presented to the US Supreme Court. The 5-to-4 decision determined that the coverage formula the Voting Rights Act used to determine the states that were subject to preclearance was unconstitutional, thereby nullifying the section that required that named states must have federal approval to change election laws. The vote has been passionately contested by many. The majority cited that the conditions under which the Voting Rights Act had originally been established had changed significantly.

Among the evidence presented was the election of President Barak Obama as well as numerous African American mayors who were in office in the affected states. Critics say that this will open the door to the once common practice of gerrymandering of election districts that can have a devastating effect on the minority vote. Others uphold that any regulation should apply to all of the states, not only the named states that were at issue in 1965.

lyndon b johnson christmasTHE LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON FAMILY ENJOYING CHRISTMAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

There are few topics that are as hotly debated as voter’s rights. While many statistics support the position that the racial discrimination that existed in the 1960’s is part of our past, civil rights watchdog groups and political organizations tell a different story. If the positive change that was created by the Voting Rights Act is to be sustained, the entire issue needs to be examined and addressed according to current conditions.

lyndon johnson white house china 1WHITE HOUSE CHINA PATTERN PICKED BY LADY BIRD JOHNSON - THE ABOVE JOHNSON SERVICE PLATE IS IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection is proud to own many historical artifacts that are part of our nation’s rich history. Within the collection are numerous sets of White House china, including pieces from the official White House China of President Lyndon B. Johnson. As the Voting Rights Act was being signed into law, Lady Bird Johnson made her own mark in history with a uniquely designed theme connecting the American Eagle and American wildflowers. The Johnson White House China was designed by Tiffanys and manufactured by Castleton.

raleigh degeer amyxHISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

Many of the museum-quality historical artifacts (over 400), acquired by Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, will be sold in a live auction in Boston, Mass. on September 17-18, 2014 by RRAuction.com. Interested parties can see the official auction page at the link below:

Click here for the official September 17th & 18th, 2014 auction page

Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson, White House Memorabilia

WHITE HOUSE CHINA -ELEGANT-LYNDON JOHNSON SELECTION RECENTLY LOCATED

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 @ 01:24 PM

Lady Bird Johnson, with the President of United States in tow, selected this exquisite example as their Official White House China in 1967. Featured below is an 11 5/8" Service Plate, manufactured by Castleton China, a subsidiary of Shenango.  Lady Bird Johnson took hands-on interest in the Decorative Theme, including each wildflower, in attempt to recognize the State Flower of each of our American States, which appears on the border of most LBJ pieces. The First Lady, after careful thought, reintroduced the Old Eagle style Shield.

white house chinaSTUNNING 11 5/8" LYNDON B. JOHNSON SERVICE PLATE FROM THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

When Lady Bird Johnson made the determination to order the First State Dinner China since Harry S Truman in 1951, The President and First Lady  made a radical departure from the ever reliable Lenox Company.  The First Lady contacted Tiffany and Company of New York, as a Lady Bird Johnson coveted their highly respected design input.

white house china of raleigh degeer amyxTHE TIFFANY VERSO MARKINGS EMBLAZONED ON THE WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON

Also, there was going to be another American First.  The Johnsons made a determination to purchase their exquisite White House China by using funds other than a Government Tax Based Appropriation.

the raleigh degeer amyx collectionLADY BIRD JOHNSON'S CHOICE OF THE DRAMATIC EAGLE AS A SHIELD FOR THE JOHNSON WHITE HOUSE CHINA - AN EAGLE DESIGN FIRST CHOSEN BY JAMES MONROE & LATER BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By May of 1967, Lady Bird Johnson had decided the main decorative theme of this new selection of White House China was to be the Above Eagle, but it would be in the formation of the Eagle that had been first used on the White House China personally chosen by James Monroe.  However, Mrs. Johnson's inclusion of Wild Flowers from all over the United States (see Border of the above featured Johnson Service Plate), was to become an Emphasized Principal Theme. This was very much in keeping with the First Lady's Special Theme throughout The Administration of Lyndon B. Johnson - known as The Beautification of The United States of America.

lyndon b. johnson & lady bird johnsonTHE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND LADY BIRD JOHNSON JUST PRIOR TO A STATE DINNER AT THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THE JOHNSON WHITE HOUSE SERVICE WAS TO BE IN OFFICIAL USE

Featured above is a  11 5/8" Service Plate from The White House China Collection. This exemplary example is now in The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection (a.k.a.) The American Heritage Collection. This piece is just one of several Johnson variations that appear in The Collection of Mr. Amyx. The existence of these Rare White House China pieces was not known until 2011.

raleigh degeer amyxHISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX 2010

raleigh degeer amyx

 

 


Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson, White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection

Contact Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Online

Sign up for Monthly Newsletters