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Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln Owned Dinner Plate Used In White House Collectible For Sale
LINCOLN WHITE HOUSE DINNER PLATE:
Up for sale is an
excessively rare dinner plate used in the Lincoln White House in 1865 and
present there at the time of Lincoln's assassination. This plate is from the
Lincolns' informal, regularly-used household service, thus saw much more use
than the formal pattern used for state dinners. The plate measures 9 1/2"
wide and bears a buff-colored gilt-edged band at its edge, as well as a circular
gilt band near its center. It is in overall excellent condition and ideal for
the collector of Lincolniana. It appears that this same service may have been
used in the White House during the administrations of Andrew Johnson and
Ulysses S. Grant as well.
plate was personally designed by former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln for her
husband, Abraham Lincoln’s, second Presidential term. This plate was used in White House dinners
three months before President Lincoln was assassinated and has been on display
in the White House museum as well as the Smithsonian for decades since. Only
recently has a few pieces been available to the public, don’t miss your chance
to own this increasingly RARE piece of history!
Included with this sale is the plate, all notarized provenance papers
listed below, a printed history of the plate, the case it is pictured with ($75
value INCLUDED), and a plate stand which is also pictured. This is great for ANY collector or investor,
offer high and offer often!
PROVENANCE INCLUDED WITH PLATE:
Your purchase is accompanied by copies of the
1. A receipt dated September 22, 1980 was issued to Mrs. Carper from
Claudia B. Kidwell, Chairman of the Department of Social and National History
of The Smithsonian Institution, acknowledging the gift of a "9 ½"
plate, cup and a saucer" belonging to the "buff services ordered and
received Mrs. Abraham Lincoln for The White House in 1865".
letter of acknowledgement written to Mrs. Carper on January 27, 1981 by Clement
E. Conger, on behalf of the Committee for the Preservation of The White House,
for the donation of a cup and saucer "believed to be from the state
service ordered for The White House by Mrs. Abraham Lincoln.
3. A receipt from The White House signed by Clement E. Conger, the Curator
for The White House Museum and dated August 25, 1980 acknowledging that a
coffee cup and saucer together with "a small covered vegetable
tureen" were donated by Mrs. Fritzie Conley Carper and Mrs. Carter Conley
4.A notarized letter dated January 14, 2010 from Fritzie Conley Carper
directed to James D. Julia, Inc. detailing the provenance of the china from
it's purchase by her great grandfather Sylvanus Wilson Hall at a public
Circa 1865 and known as the "Buff" set,
originally ordered from J.K. Kerr of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, whose
establishment was known as "China House", by Mary Todd Lincoln as the
second set for The White House ordered during the second term of Abraham
At the end of 1864 Mary Todd Lincoln
proceeded to order a new set of Presidential china, unlike the well-known
magenta Solferino set used throughout the first term of Lincoln's presidency,
from a different firm, that of James K. Kerr of 529 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, who establishment was known as "China House". On
January 9th and 10th, 1865, it is documented that she sent telegrams to James
K. Kerr requesting immediate delivery of the new dinner service (reference:
Mary Todd Lincoln, Her Life and Letters by Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt
Turner, 1972). Despite these requests, it appears the set known as "One
extra large French China Dining, Dessert and Coffee Service decorated on a
white ground delicate Buff border with burnished Gold Lines", was not
billed until January 30, 1865 and that the primary delivery of this same set by
Harnden Express did not take place until February 13, 1865, as documented by
the National Archives, Miscellaneous Treasury Account, vouchers 25 & 26,
account number 157178. Two months later, President Lincoln was assassinated.
Subsequently, a meeting between B.B. French, the Commissioner of Public
Buildings and Grounds, and the new President Andrew Johnson occurred regarding
the non-payment of the invoice for the china recently ordered by Mrs. Lincoln.
President Johnson was asked to approve its payment, which he did on August 29,
1865. The second additional order for this service was paid for in February of
1866. It is surmised that the Johnson's did not like the "Buff" set
because on January 17, 1866 an order was placed with E.V. Haughwout of
Haughwout & Co., New York City, to replenish the Solferino china set.
On July 23, 1866 the 29th Congress passed an
Act providing for the appointment of an official steward of the Executive
Mansion. At that time, Interior Secretary Orville H. Browning, directed by
Benjamin B. French to take the inventory of the White House, which was
accomplished with the then steward William Slade on February 28, 1867. A second
inventory, taken on December 14, 1869 during the presidency of Ulysses S.
Grant, lists the Solferino set and also lists a buff set, obviously the one
ordered by Mrs. Lincoln. President Chester A. Arthur, in the first autumn of
his administration, directed an extensive redecoration of the Executive
Mansion. During this event, assisted by the doorkeeper, Charles Loeffler,
President Arthur inventoried and evaluated the property within the Mansion.
Under the direction of the steward, William Crump, the pieces of china to be
discarded were packed into 30 barrels. The remnants of three services were
packed away in storage within the Mansion. It is believed these were from
Presidents Lincoln, Grant and Hayes. Little else is known relating to the
outcome of the other pieces of the buff Lincoln dinner service beyond those
pieces that are documented to be in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute
and of those documented pieces remaining in the White House collection.
During the late 19th and opening of the 20th
century, two separate events took place concerning the disposal of surplus
items from the Executive Mansion. The partial set being offered here was
purchased at public sale in Philadelphia, PA between 1880-1890 by Sylvanus
Hall. He then passed it on to his daughter, Georgia Hall Conley. She passed it
on to her son, Frank G. G. Conley. He passed it on to his daughter, Fritzie
The personal china was an indiscreet
purchase, at best, and Mrs. Lincoln was soon accused of buying the china out of
public funds. In the midst of the campaign in which Lincoln ran for re-election
in 1864 an opposition newspaper, The New York World, published a bitter
attack on the President and his wife charging that the bill submitted by
Haughwout for the State service had been padded to include the cost of the
personal china. According to the paper’s editorial, the deceit
was discovered when the amount of the bill was questioned by a clerk in the
Treasury Department and “Honest Abe,” when cornered, made payment out of his
own pocket. This story seems to be refuted by the evidence on the Haughwout
bill, which was signed by the Comptroller for payment on September 16, 1861,
within two weeks after the china was received, and only three after President
Lincoln had approved the bill.
The extent to which this controversy spoiled Mrs.
Lincoln’s pleasure in the handsome purple service perhaps can be measured by
the fact that after President Lincoln was re-elected, she purchased another
large china service for the White House. A bill, recently discovered at the
National Archives, documents the new set as being ordered by Mrs. Lincoln from
J. K. Kerr of 529 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, whose establishment, known as
China Hall, specialized in French and English china and glassware. (SEE
Two months later
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The china so recently ordered could
hardly have been used by Mrs. Lincoln, and evidently payment had not been made,
for it is recorded that at one of the first conferences which B. B. French,
Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds, had with President Johnson in
April 1865, he sought the President’s approval of payment for a purchase of
china by Mrs. Lincoln.
This is a 100% genuine
Lincoln owned plate and is backed with a 100% money back guarantee! This item
is also available to be picked up if you are in the Southern California
area. Please contact me with any
questions and good luck offerding!!
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Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln Owned Dinner Plate Used In White House Collectible: $1,449