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Rutherford B. Hayes China: Unique in Many Ways

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

rutheford hayes

RUTHERFORD B. HAYES (1822-1893)
OUR 19TH PRESIDENT (1877-1881)

Throughout our nation’s history, several US presidents have used their Official White House China as a means to celebrate America’s beauty and bounty. The china collection commissioned by President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Hayes is one of the most spectacular examples of this.

Produced by the renowned Haviland & Co. of Limoges, France, the dinnerware features stunning artistic renderings designed in America. The choice of decoration was something of an accident. First Lady Lucy Hayes had already chosen Haviland to manufacture her dinnerware. One day, she was in the White House conservatory looking at botanical samples that might be used to inspire designs. Theodore Russell Davis, at the time a writer and artist for Harper’s Weekly, just happened to be on hand.

rutheford hayes white house china

RARE HAND PAINTED DESSERT PLATE FROM THE HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - DESIGNED BY THEODORE R. DAVIS - MANUFACTURED BY HAVILAND & CO. - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

He suggested featuring North American flora and fauna as subjects. That way the dinnerware would reflect both the spirit of nationalism and strong interest in nature, both of which were prevalent at the time. Mrs. Hayes was so taken with this she asked Davis to direct the artistic aspects of the project.

Davis proceeded to create illustrations, from which etchings were made so the design outlines could be transferred to the dishes. Chromolithography and decalcomania were used to colorize, then the final shading, enameling and gilding was done by hand. A total of 16 artists worked on the project. In all, the Hayes china service incorporates an astounding 130 different designs.

rutheford hayes white house china

IMPRESSIVE HAND PAINTED FISH PLATTER FROM THE HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

What sets this china service apart isn’t only the tremendous variety of artistic designs. In a distinct break with tradition, many of the plates are not round but unusual shapes – teardrops, multi-sided geometric shapes, some with scalloped edges or curled lips or corners (see above). Many of the pieces also include raised patterns and shapes that add dimension to the subject matter -- flowering plants, birds, mammals and sea creatures, often shown in their natural settings.

In many cases, the decoration depicts the use of the dish. For instance, seafood plates feature oysters or lobsters. Ice cream dishes feature snowy scenes with snowshoes. Dinner platters display the regal American wild turkey.

rutheford hayes white house china

THE HAND PAINTED EAGLE ON THE HAYES OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA IS A REPLICA OF THE OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL EMBLEM

As with many White House china collections, the Hayes china features distinctive verso markings that make it easy to authenticate its provenance. These include a beautiful polychrome eagle in the same pose as is used for the official emblem of the President of the United States. Some of the Hayes designs were also produced for purchase by the public. These are easily differentiated, as their verso markings show a blue 1880 patent mark instead of the 1879 pennant mark. Both the Presidential China made for the public as well as The White House are scarce.

The Hayes china was delivered to the White House in June of 1879. With it came an 88-page booklet which listed the pieces in the collection, the 16 artists who participated in creating the designs and decoration and 67 pen-and-ink illustrations of some of the pieces, along with written descriptions.

first lady hayes.jpg

FIRST LADY LUCY WEBB HAYES (1831-1889)

The new china was first used in November, 1880 when President and Mrs. Hayes hosted a small gathering for President-elect and Mrs. James Garfield. The following month, the china debuted at an official state dinner that honored former President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, culminating their around-the-world trip. This was also a relatively small dinner. There were only 40 invitees, but they represented the nation’s top leadership, from members of the Cabinet and Congress to Supreme Court Justices and high-ranking military officers.

By today’s standards, Rutherford Hayes’ White House china was a small collection – just 562 total pieces for nine courses, compared to current presidential sets that often include more than 300 place settings, thus equaling over 2,000 pieces. Naturally, formal state dinners today frequently seat far more dignitaries than were invited by presidents of old.

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: Rutherford B. Hayes

The President's Valet - Just What Do They Do?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

eisenhower and moaney

PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER WITH HIS DEVOTED VALET, SERGEANT JOHN MOANEY

Every President of the United States has had a valet. But unlike many valet positions, serving as personal assistant to the POTUS involves more than assembling the day’s wardrobe. The president’s valet has always been a factotum and confidante as well.

Their “insider view” of the American Presidency is a rare one, indeed. Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, renowned collector of White House China and other Presidential memorabilia, has known Presidential valets, as well as other “upstairs” level White House aides. Through them, he has collected facts and stories about many of our chief executives and life in the Executive Mansion during their tenure.

washington white house china

ELEGANT PLATE FROM THE WASHINGTON CHINA COLLECTION, CONSIDERED TO BE "THE HOLY GRAIL" OF A WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Our first President had a favorite slave – William Lee  who served as Washington's personal assistant. Later in life, when George Washington died, Presidents James Madison and John Tyler also had slaves that served as their personal assistants.

eisenhower moaney grilling

PRESIDENT EISENHOWER AND SGT. MOANEY WERE BOTH SELF-PROCLAIMED "GRILL MASTERS"

One of the most famous Presidential valets was Sgt. John Moaney, a long-time aide to Dwight Eisenhower. Moaney first met Eisenhower when he was transferred to the General’s personal staff during World War II. Moaney traveled from post to post during Eisenhower’s service as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, as did several other enlisted men who also had the privilege to work for Eisenhower as cooks, drivers, secretaries and butlers.

Sgt. Moaney’s official job was in the kitchen, but he also cared for Eisenhower’s two Scottie dogs and the two dozen puppies they produced over the years. When it came time to move to a new post, Sgt. Moaney took charge of packing up the household.

eisenhower moaney tool chest gift

THIS HANDSOME CUSTOM HAND-MADE WOODEN TOOL CHEST, CRAFTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE CARPENTERS, WAS A 1959 CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM MOANEY TO EISENHOWER - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION 

Following the war, Sgt. Moaney declined to muster out, preferring to stay with General Eisenhower. By doing so, he ultimately became valet to the President. Before that, though, he followed Eisenhower to Columbia University during his stint as president of the college and moved with him to Europe when the General was supreme commander of NATO’s European forces. At Columbia, Eisenhower wore business suits rather than the military uniforms Sgt. Moaney was used to caring for. Moaney had no way of knowing that would prepare him for his future role as valet to the President.

As Presidential valet, tending to the President’s wardrobe was just one of Sgt. Moaney’s responsibilities. He reports he was also called upon to waken the President each morning, organize ingredients so the President could make his favorite vegetable soup, and run the projector so the First Family could watch a movie. Not surprisingly, he also assisted the President by shagging golf balls as Eisenhower practice his swing on the South Lawn.

eisenhower moaney golf

SGT. MOANEY LINING UP GOLF BALLS FOR EISENHOWER WHILE ABOARD SHIP

Since Richard Nixon’s tenure, Presidential valets have not been life-long personal aides but members of the military or the White House staff specifically selected for the job. Nonetheless, close relationships still develop.

Hired on to Barack Obama’s Senate office staff in 2006, Reggie Love became the President’s “body man” in 2007 and served into 2011. He describes the comprehensive nature of the job: "I was his DJ, his Kindle, his travel agent, his valet, his daughters' basketball coach, his messenger, his punching bag, his alarm clock, his vending machine, his chief of stuff, his note passer, his spades partner, his party planner, his workout partner, his caterer, his small forward, his buffer, his gatekeeper, his surrogate son … his friend."

obama official white house china

THE BARACK OBAMA OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES A UNIQUE KAILUA BLUE RIM - COMING SOON TO THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

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: Dwight Eisenhower

The Evolution of White House China Patterns

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

FDR.Roosevelt.China.jpg

HANDSOME DINNER PLATE FROM THE FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION DISPLAYS THE TRADITIONAL PRESIDENTIAL EMBLEM MOTIF AT THE TOP OF THE PLATE - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Throughout American history, each president has put his own personal imprint on the dinnerware used within the White House. In some administrations, First Ladies have taken the lead, not only supervising production of the china, but actively helping to create the designs themselves. It is interesting to look back and see how White House china has evolved.

One thing that has remained nearly constant is the use of the Presidential Emblem  – at least on formal dinnerware. (A few presidents ordered a second set of dishes for personal use.) The Presidential Emblem usually takes center stage on Service plates, but in some instances such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s service, the Presidential Emblem motif sits on the rim at the top of the plate.

truman WHITE HOUSE CHINA

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

The American bald eagle holds a cluster of arrows in his left talons, symbolizing readiness for war. On his right, he holds an olive branch, symbolizing the desire for peace. Initially the eagle’s head faced to the left, but President Truman formally revised the Official Seal so the eagle now faces the olive branch of peace.

woodrow_wilson_white house china

STUNNING SERVICE PLATE FROM THE WOODROW WILSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Gold has featured prominently over the years, sometimes used heavily, sometimes delicately within the decoration. Banding and, sometimes, stars represent the stars and stripes of our nation’s flag. Woodrow Wilson’s Service plate carries both a wide, ornate gold band on outer rim and a narrower gold band on the inside. And Benjamin Harrison’s china featured delicate gold drawings of ears of corn on a black ground, honoring our nation’s heartland.

benjamin-harrison-white-house-china-1.jpg

CAPTIVATING DINNER PLATE FROM THE BENJAMIN HARRISON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY TRESSEMANES AND VOGT, LIMOGES - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Barack and Michelle Obama chose an unusual shade of blue to rim their dinnerware – a shade they named Kailua Blue, reminiscent of the ocean waters surrounding the President’s native Hawaii.

Obama white house china

THE BARACK OBAMA OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES A UNIQUE KAILUA BLUE RIM

In some cases, personal preferences beyond color have been featured. The magnolia blossom that centers informal plates from the George W. and Laura Bush collection honors the venerable magnolia tree on the White House lawn, said to be the oldest tree on the property. The pretty wildflowers that rim the plates of the Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson formal dinnerware reflect Mrs. Johnson’s lifelong love of our nation’s natural beauty. Wildflowers depicted in the collection represent the official state flower of each of the 50 states. Official White House China ordered by Ulysses S. Grant and James K. Polk also featured flowers in the center of some of the plates.

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

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

Geometric designs have also remained popular. Perhaps the most unusual example is Zachary Taylor’s china, which has a striking, almost Oriental-looking black and white pattern.

Taylor_White_House_China.jpg

BOLD PLATE FROM THE ZACHARY TAYLOR OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES AN UNUSUAL GEOMETRIC PATTERN

White House china runs the gamut, from simple to ornate, subdued to flashy. The ultimate may be Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s bright red-banded dishes. Or Bill and Hillary Clinton’s heavy emphasis on gold decoration. The Clintons broke with tradition, replacing the usual Presidential Emblem with architectural drawings of the White House.

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

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

Unlike his successors, George Washington used his own furnishings to entertain political guests. On one set of his dishes, a slender serpent surrounds the outer rim holding its tail in its mouth. Inside, 13 ovals each bear the name of one of our original 13 states. And in the center a stylized golden sunburst with 13 rays reaches out to each of the states.

WASHINGTON white house china

RARE CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN PLATE FROM THE GEORGE WASHINGTON WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Some collections or individual pieces have verso markings that indicate dates, the manufacturer or other details about the china; others have no markings.

fdr_w.h._china_verso_clos_up_fdr-white-house-china-verso-1.jpg

VERSO MARKING FROM THE F.D.R. OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION DEPICTS THE YEAR AS WELL AS WHERE THE CHINA WAS MANUFACTURED AND BY WHICH COMPANY

Over time, the size of the collections ordered has increased significantly. State dinners have grown in size, as has White House capacity to serve more guests at official dinners. So where early sets might have included 140 pieces altogether, a modern-day service may include as many as 320 place settings.

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

The Mysterious Location of the Jimmy Carter White House China

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Carter.jpg

JAMES EARL CARTER JR. (1924)
OUR 39TH PRESIDENT (1977-1981)

Friends of President and Mrs. Carter presented them an attractive Service from Lenox decorated with the Gold Presidential Seal and a "Carter Green" Border, surrounded in Intricate 3-D Gold Detail.

jimmy carter white house china,raleigh degeer amyx,the raleigh degeer amyx collection,STRIKING DINNER PLATE FROM THE JIMMY CARTER PRESIDENTIAL CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The well known White House China Collector & Historian, Set Momjian, spearheaded the private fund raising for The Carter China project. However, President Jimmy Carter's 1981 White House China arrived too late for their own use in the Executive Mansion.

jimmy carter white house china,raleigh degeer amyx,the raleigh degeer amyx collection,A VIVID CLOSE-UP OF THE EXQUISITE BORDER OF THE JIMMY CARTER PRESIDENTIAL CHINA COLLECTION

Although the beautiful Presidential China is Marked in Gold – "The White House – 1980 OR Jimmy Carter", this White House China was actually completed after President Jimmy Carter and First lady Roslyn Carter left The White House in 1981, for Plains, Georgia.

Carter_china.jpg
ADDITIONAL ELEGANT EXAMPLES FROM THE JIMMY CARTER PRESIDENTIAL CHINA COLLECTION

Therefore, almost all of their, "Official" White House China was delivered to the Carter Presidential Library, in that no public funds had been expended in the design and purchase of this Service.  However, it is believed that the Executive Mansion does have examples in their impressive White House China Collection.

Carter_china2.jpg
STATELY TEA CUP AND SAUCER FROM THE JIMMY CARTER PRESIDENTIAL CHINA COLLECTION

The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection (a.k.a.) The American Heritage Collection presently has a Carter Service Plate, Dinner Plate and a Cup & Saucer on perpetual display.

JIMMY CARTER WHITE HOUSE CHINA,RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX,THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION,JIMMY CARTER WHITE HOUSE CHINA - VERS0 MARKINGS - INTERESTINGLY OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF WILSON,FDR,TRUMAN,REAGAN & CARTER MAY ALSO HAVE THE ADDED DISTINCTION OF TWO MORE WORDS ON THE VERSO - "EXHIBIT COLLECTION"

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX,the raleigh degeer amyx collection,COLLECTOR & HISTORIAN - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

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: Jimmy Carter

White House China: How to tell what's AUTHENTIC

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

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

ELEGANT DESSERT PLATE FROM THE JAMES K. POLK OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY EDOUARD D. HONORE' - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Imagine you have recently inherited a beautiful piece of china from your grandmother. Family legend has it this piece was once official White House China – part of a set used by a past American president for official state occasions. But is that true? How can you tell if your piece of china is the genuine article or a reproduction?

Start by looking at the bottom of the piece of china. Throughout the history of china production, artisans and manufacturers have often put identifying marks on their work. These are called “verso” markings because they are placed on the backs of plates or bottoms of bowls and cups. So turn your piece over and see what’s there. You may find one or more symbols or words, either painted or stamped or raised. These marks can be very helpful in identifying whether your china is a White House original or a reproduction.

whc_whc_clinton_verso_new.jpg

VERSO MARKING ON A SERVICE PLATE FROM THE BILL CLINTON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Then, you should do some research on White House China. Do you know which president supposedly used your china? If not, you can find photos of past White House dinnerware online. Look to see if there is one that matches your plate. Read up on that president’s china, and examine your plate to see if all the details match.

GRANT-W.H._CHINA_FULL_FRT._whc_grant_dessert.jpg

BEAUTIFUL HAND-PAINTED DINNER PLATE FROM THE ULYSSES S. GRANT OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED IN FRANCE BY HAVILAND & CO. - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

It may also help to determine what your china is made from. The word “china” is used universally to refer to all types of dinnerware, because the process originated in China thousands of years ago. But, in fact, there are three general types of china:

1. Hard-paste porcelain is made from the original Chinese clay known as kaolin, usually mixed with alabaster. Meissen was the first European manufacturer to produce hard-paste porcelain, in 1710. Modern hard-paste porcelain incorporates quartz instead of alabaster.

2. Soft-paste porcelain is a variation created by European manufacturers to replace imported kaolin with local clay such as that found near Limoges, France. You can tell the difference between hard- and soft-paste porcelain by holding the plate with your fingertips and tapping the edge lightly with a coin. Hard-paste porcelain makes a high-pitched note.

3. Bone china was developed in England in the mid-1700s. Whereas porcelain is very white, bone china is ivory in color because bone ash is mixed with the clay. Bone china is also very light and has a translucent quality to it. You can see that well if you hold your piece of china up to the light.

PIERCE_F_RESTORED_MKB_4_14_BREAKFAST_PLATE_8_3_4_INCH.jpg

DELICATE FRENCH 1845 DINNER PLATE FROM THE FRANKLIN PIERCE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - IMPORTED AND DECORATED BY HAUGHWOUT AND DAILEY- PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

It is important to note that White House china is unique because each collection was custom-designed for a particular President and First Lady. Many of them were very hands-on when it came to working with the designers to create a pattern and choose colors. In America’s early days, administrations were allowed to dispose of “decayed furnishings” in order to raise money for replacements. So state china was often given away or sold, damaged or not, to make way for new dishes. This is one way your piece of china could have been acquired.

johnson_service_plate_full_whc_lbj_2-resized-600.jpg

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

Eventually, Congress passed a law drafted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her Fine Arts Advisory Committee in 1961, which declared all White House furnishings to be historic property of the White House and not to be sold. Today, damaged or no-longer-used official White House China is deliberately destroyed. In fact, there is a funny story about a set of dessert plates ordered by Lyndon Johnson. The plates were not of expected quality, so White House staff members reportedly smashed them against a wall in the basement that had been painted with caricatures of presidential assistants.

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ELEGANT DESSERT PLATE FROM THE 1817 JAMES MONROE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED BY DAGOTY AND HONORE' - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Unless you have reliable provenance – letters or other documents that trace the history of your china piece all the way from its White House days – the best way to authenticate it may be to consult an experienced appraiser or professional collector, like Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, who is knowledgeable about presidential state china.

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

Did Harding Gamble White House China: Truth or Myth?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

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WARREN G. HARDING (1865-1923)
OUR 29TH PRESIDENT (1921-1923)

Warren G. Harding is widely described as the worst president in American history. He was our 29th chief executive, serving from 1921 to 1923. Although stories abound to explain just why he is considered our worst president, one of the funniest – depending on your point of view – is the fact that he gambled away an entire set of White House china. And he bet it all on one unfortunate hand.

Harding has been described as “good-looking, charming and out of his depth” and “oddly likeable in his ineptitude.” He evidently agreed with these assessments, saying about himself, “I am a man of limited talents from a small town; I don’t seem to grasp that I am president.” Not surprisingly, Congress had their way with him during his term in office, but he didn’t appear to mind.

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PRESIDENT HARDING'S ORNATELY MONOGRAMMED "WGH" STERLING DESK TOP BOX - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OF HARDINGS PRESIDENTIAL ITEMS HERE.

After all, he had his cigars. And his poker games. Warren Harding was a confirmed poker fan long before he entered the White House. While President, he played twice a week with assorted friends and members of his cabinet, including Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty, Secretary of War John W. Weeks and Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall. He encouraged everyone to play as equals, regardless of their specific position. And competition was taken seriously. The group, which was informally nicknamed the Poker Cabinet, reportedly drank heartily during their games, despite the fact that Prohibition was in full swing. Harding apparently didn’t find this to be a breach of presidential leadership.

Oh, and that set of china that he was rumored to have blithely gambled away? It had been in the White House collection since Benjamin Harrison was president. Some historians say the game wasn’t even real poker, but something called a “cold hand,” not unlike the children’s card game War. Players simply draw cards, and the person with the highest card wins.

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MONOGRAMMED W.G.H. PLAYING CARDS WERE OWNED AND USED BY PRESIDENT HARDING - MFG. BY BAILEY, BANKS AND BIDDLE OF PHILADELPHIA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

Harding wasn’t the only president to favor poker. Even President Barack Obama is known to love the card game, though he has played far less frequently (at least visibly) since becoming president. Some political experts suggest poker actually teaches “presidential” behaviors. To excel at the game, players must learn to calculate upcoming moves, assess risk vs. reward and bluff others successfully while reading them correctly.

Among Harding’s other failings as president, he had an affair with the wife of his friend James Phillips. The Republican National Committee was so horrified this would become public knowledge, they paid monthly hush money to Mr. Phillips and his wife. Harding’s term was also known for internal financial scandals, in which numerous government officials took bribes and skimmed money from the sale of surplus war items. His Secretary of the Interior not only participated in the Poker Cabinet, he sold national oil reserves and kept the money for himself. He was also the architect of the Teapot Dome scandal.

Warren G. Harding’s presidential term was (perhaps mercifully) short. He suffered a heart attack and passed away in 1923, reportedly before much of the scandalous behavior that marked his term had become widely known. Despite everything, he was a consistently popular president.

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: Warren G. Harding

Lincoln White House China: A Rare Royal Color

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

mary todd lincoln

MARY ANN TODD LINCOLN (1818-1882)
FIRST LADY TO OUR 16TH PRESIDENT (1861-1865)

Mary Todd Lincoln was born into a socially prominent, slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky. Because of this, she was raised in a household where elegant dinner parties were a regular occurrence. When she and her newly-elected-President husband Abraham moved into the White House in 1861, Mrs. Lincoln expected to host elegant state parties of her own. Imagine her disappointment when she found only a hodge-podge of official dinnerware from previous administrations.

As First Lady, she made acquiring new White House china a top priority. In fact, historians note she was the first Presidential wife to personally take on this task. Throughout the 1800s, American presidents ordered fine china from overseas, because American manufacturers could not meet the same standards for quality porcelain. Mary Todd Lincoln chose Haviland & Co. of Limoges, France to produce her official White House china. However, she ordered the dinnerware through New York’s E.V. Haughwout & Co.

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BEAUTIFUL HAND-PAINTED SERVICE PLATE FROM THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - MANUFACTURED IN FRANCE BY HAVILAND & CO. - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Opened in 1857, E.V. Haughwout was a large store in Manhattan described by the New York Times as “the greatest china and porcelain house in the city.” Mary Todd Lincoln worked closely with the firm to design and hand-paint her impressive china service.

Although the dinnerware was manufactured by Haviland in France, it was Eber Haughwout and his team of artists who painted each piece. By September, 1861, the Lincoln china -- 190 pieces in all – had arrived at the White House. It cost $3,195. This service was far smaller than the huge collections with 300 or more complete place settings ordered by our most recent presidential couples.

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RARE DELICATE EGG CUP (ONLY 24 WERE ORDERED) FROM THE 1861 LINCOLN OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

The Lincoln Official White House China collection is highly patriotic and very different from other Presidential china. The plates are white porcelain with a scalloped edge, wide solferino band and a gold rope border. In the center, there are clouds behind the traditional presidential depiction of the American bald eagle – outstretched wings, talons holding an olive branch on one side and arrows on the other. There is also a shield decorated with stars and stripes and a banner that reads “E. Pluribus Unum,” which is Latin for “out of many, one.”

The Lincoln White China is often referred to as “Royal Purple” or the “Lincoln solferino china” because of its distinctive shade of purplish pink. The unusual color got its name in an unusual way. It was discovered in 1859, the same year as the famous Battle of Solferino, at which Napoleon defeated the Sardinian Army. So the Lincoln china has two distinct ties with history.

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ELEGANT BUFF SERVING DISH FROM LINCOLN'S EXECUTIVE MANSION CHINA COLLECTION DURING LINCOLN'S SECOND TERM IN OFFICE - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

At the Begining of the 2nd Term of the Abraham Lincoln Administration, Mary Todd Lincoln ordered a Buff Set of French Haviland China for use in the Executive Mansion. This White House China was to feature more modest decoration and to be more simple in design than the Solferino (Royal Purple) China of 1861. This Buff China set finally arrived at The White House only three months prior to the assassination of President Lincoln. Today, a number of examples of The Buff China Remain at The White House as well as at The Smithsonian Institution, and a few pieces are in advanced private collections.

So many pieces of Mrs. Lincoln’s official White House china broke or became damaged, Andrew Johnson had to order replacement pieces within just a few years. Later presidents – Ulysses Grant, Chester Arthur and Grover Cleveland -- were so taken with the lovely color and elegant decoration, they continued to order matching replacements to augment the Lincoln Presidential China service. Nonetheless, today only a small number of pieces still exist.

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: Abraham Lincoln

Lyndon B. Johnson China: Flowers Take Center Stage

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

lyndon johnson

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

Ever since James Monroe occupied the White House, it has become a tradition for most American presidents to outfit the official dining rooms with their own versions of White House China. It isn’t simply a matter of vanity. Over the decades our presidents and first ladies have hosted an increasing number of state guests. And we all know that china which gets used, eventually gets broken.

By the time President Lyndon Johnson and his wife Lady Bird had been in residence a couple of years, it became clear that new china was needed once again. It was 1967, and no new full set of Official White House China had been ordered since 1951, when Harry Truman was President. The First Lady, Lady Bird, took the lead. In fact, she played a more hands-on role than many of her predecessors, working closely with designers and the manufacturer every step of the way.

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BEAUTIFUL HAND-PAINTED SERVICE PLATE FROM THE LYNDON B. JOHNSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - DESIGNED BY TIFFANY AND COMPANY AND  MANUFACTURED BY CASTLETON CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Lenox had been the manufacturer of choice for most presidents in the 20th century, once Woodrow and Edith made the momentous switch to an American company. However, Lady Bird Johnson turned to the famous designers at Tiffany and Company of New York City for help creating the Johnson Official White House China.

The design combines America’s most enduring symbol – the federal eagle -- with Lady Bird’s signature initiative as First Lady, known as “beautification.” Her renowned efforts to honor the diverse beauty of our country and to improve the appearance of roadways and other public places are reflected in the wildflowers that decorate the Johnson Official White House China collection. The result is a set of White House China that look quite different from other Presidential collections.

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THE HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATES - AS DISPLAED ON THE RIGHT - FROM THE JOHNSON'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURE EACH OF THE 50 STATES' OFFICIAL FLOWERS

Dinner plates and bowls are bordered with a variety of American wildflowers – over 40 in all -- hand-painted by well-known artist Andre Piette. This process was so time-consuming the china service wasn’t completed until 1972, well after the Johnsons had left office. Dessert plates feature each of the 50 states’ official flowers, one in center of each plate. And all plates are trimmed with a narrow border of raised gold dots. The eagle motif reflects the eagle used by President Monroe, appearing at the top center in the border of dinner plates and on the center of service plates.

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LADY BIRD JOHNSON HAD A FONDNESS FOR FLOWERS, WHICH INSPIRED HER "BEAUTIFICATION" THEME FOR AMERICA

Tiffany’s designers produced actual plates with different designs for Lady Bird Johnson to review during the design process. A total of 2,208 finished pieces were manufactured by Castleton China of New Castle, Pennsylvania. The company reportedly destroyed numerous pieces during the manufacturing process before they achieved 250 approved place settings. The china was first used at an official dinner for Australian Prime Minister John Gorton.

The Lyndon B, Johnson service marks the first time official state china was not purchased with government funds. Both Tiffany and Castleton absorbed some of the cost, and the remainder was paid by an anonymous donor.

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VERSO INSCRIPTION ON THE JOHNSON'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

When the exquisite new china was unveiled to the American public, Anthony Ostrom, manager of Tiffany’s in Chicago, noted one thing was missing. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he pointed to the fact that the state flowers were not identified on the backs of the dessert plates. “Nobody knows what they are,” he lamented.

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: George W. Bush

George W. Bush: The First "Two-China Policy"

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

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GEORGE W. BUSH (1946)
OUR 43RD PRESIDENT (2001-2009)

Was it an unfortunate delay or clever timing that caused the Official George W. Bush White House China to arrive just two weeks before President Bush left office? At the time, First Lady Laura Bush told reporters, “These have been in the works for several years, and it took longer than we thought.” But some White House watchers suggest the last-minute unveiling – on January 7, 2009 -- helped avoid media questions about the cost, as the Reagans were also subjected to.

In fact, George and Laura Bush were the only First Couple in history to employ what punsters at the Washington Post called a “two-china policy.” Not only did Laura commission a new 320-piece set of state china (at a cost of just under $500,000 - at no cost to the American tax payer), she ordered an entirely different set of dishes for use exclusively in the residential dining room on the second floor of the White House. Previous presidents and their families and personal guests always dined off the same dinnerware as official state visitors.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

STUNNING SERVICE PLATE, FROM THE GEORGE W. BUSH OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION, FEATURES A GREEN CROSS-HATCHED PATTERN DERIVED FROM THE MADISON FAMILY CHINA - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Those 75 private residence place settings cost an additional $75,000. Both dinnerware sets were paid for by the White House Historical Association Acquisition Trust, again, at no cost to the American tax payer.

The First Lady chose Lenox, often considered America’s leading manufacturer of fine china, to create the official tableware for use in the State Dining Room and the East Room. This was the first full set of White House China commissioned since 1982, and it was badly needed. The George W. Bush administration had only the Reagan and Clinton dishes to choose from, if state dinners totaled 134 people and matching dishes were required.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

VERSO INSCRIPTION ON THE DISHES FROM THE BUSH'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

The Bush collection plates are bordered in a soft shade of green with basket-weave pattern and a circle of laurel leaves, inspired by the pattern on James and Dolley Madison’s personal dinnerware. There is a gold eagle in the center, the motif taken from an eagle inlay in a sideboard once owned by Daniel Webster. Chargers in the set state “The White House 2008 Lenox, made in the U.S.A.” on the verso. Mrs. Bush worked with the White House floral designer to choose the colors. They chose muted green instead of the usual bold colors, because it would complement any type of flower arrangement. Mrs. Bush also liked the fact that the color would coordinate nicely at Christmas.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH INTRODUCING THE TIMELESS BUSH OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PATTERN

The Bush White House China made its debut at a luncheon held to honor United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. President George and Laura hardly had a chance to enjoy their new china, however, having used “old” dinnerware throughout their time at the White House. Later, Laura Bush revealed that her husband’s favorites were Lady Bird Johnson’s dishes that featured American wildflowers, whereas she was most partial to the red-bordered Reagan china.

For the smaller residential (not Offical White House China) china service, Mrs. Bush chose Pickard China, another American manufacturer. These dishes were designed by Hungarian-born Anna Weatherly, and they were hand-painted in Hungary by her own craftspeople. Large magnolia blossoms honor a magnolia tree which has been part of the White House landscape since Andrew Jackson’s day. It is believed to be the oldest tree on the White House lawn.

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MANUFACTURED BY PICKARD, THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE EVERYDAY (NOT OFFICAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA) CHINA SELECTED BY FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH AS EXPLAINED ABOVE THIS IMAGE

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: George W. Bush

Bill Clinton's White House China: An Elegant set for a Unique Occasion

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

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BILL CLINTON (1946)
OUR 42ND PRESIDENT (1993-2001)

Each First Couple has put their mark on the White House in one way or another – remodeling or redecorating, hosting different kinds of events and so on. One thing virtually all of them have done is select new Official White House China to be used for formal occasions. President Bill Clinton’s second term in office happened to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the White House residence, so not surprisingly the china he and Hillary chose commemorates that milestone.

They commissioned an American manufacturer – the esteemed Lenox – to design and produce 300 12-piece place settings. The china arrived in November 2000 and was first used at a dinner attended by former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George Bush as well as their wives and former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson.

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UNIQUE SERVICE PLATE, FROM THE CLINTON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION, FEATURES A BOLD GOLD BAND - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX - FROM THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

In keeping with the distinctive occasion for which it was commissioned, the china itself is unique among presidential sets. The particularly beautiful service plate has an enormous gold band with intricate raised detailing. And for the first time, the north front of the White House is depicted on the plate’s center, instead of the official presidential seal. White House architecture is featured on the other plates as well. All have a yellow rim, but each type of plate has a different architectural motif. These highlight exceptional elements from the State Dining Room, East Room and Diplomatic Reception Room.

On the 10.5” dinner plates and the 9.25” dessert plates, there is also an image of the White House itself, positioned at 12 o’clock within the yellow border. Exquisitely presented, these designs represent the first time in the history of White House China that art played such a pivotal role in the creation of functional pieces. The dishes also carry an inscription on the verso that reads “The White House Collection” as seen below. The entire set of 200th Anniversary Lenox china cost about $500,000.

bill clinton white house china verso marking

VERSO INSCRIPTION ON THE DISHES FROM THE CLINTON'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

Bill and Hillary Clinton were the fifth of six presidential couples who have selected Lenox to produce their Official White House China. Interestingly, it wasn’t until the 20th century that any American porcelain was considered high enough quality to grace White House tables. President Teddy Roosevelt is reported to have complained, “We are dependent upon foreign factories for the very dishes from which the Chief Executive of the United States must eat.”

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BILL AND HILARY CLINTON

Decades earlier, in 1826, Congress had mandated that any furnishings purchased for the White House must be made in the USA. However, Presidents repeatedly ignored this law when it came to their dinnerware, because porcelain made in Europe and China was far superior. Walter Scott Lenox was determined that his American pottery could and would produce equally fine china, and Woodrow Wilson was the first president to officially acknowledge his success. In addition to President Wilson and the Clintons, FDR, Truman, Reagan and George W. Bush have all chosen Lenox to produce their Official White House china.

Although President George W. and Laura Bush used the Clinton china often for White House State Dinners, they, too, commissioned Lenox to create a new set of 320 pieces not long before Bush’s term of office expired.

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: Bill Clinton

Contact Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Online

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