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Lenox Presidential Offcial White House Truman China For Sale
What you are offerding on is literally a piece of American History; one rarely seen at sale or available for public sale. The story of the china is an American story and begins with a man who believed that America could compete with Europeans to produce the finest china in the world.
It is my will and desire that Lenox, Incorporated shall at all times manufacture the highest possible grades of porcelain; that the standard of excellence already attained shall ever be advanced..."
— Walter Scott Lenox
As the Lenox website proclaims: Since 1889 the vision of Walter Scott Lenox has guided the company he founded to set the highest standards for quality, artistry, and beauty. Today Lenox is among the world's oldest and most respected names in fine tableware and giftware — favored by presidents, displayed in museums, honored with awards, and enjoyed in homes across America.
A central part of the company’s success is its production of china for not just the White House, but also departments within the Federal government, Governor’s mansions in many states and even foreign governments.
Lenox White House China
Between 1918 and the present, six presidents have commissioned Lenox to issue new state services, each reflecting both period tastes and the timeless beauty of Lenox's renowned ivory china.
"We are dependent upon foreign factories for the very dishes from which the Chief Executive of the United States must eat," thundered President Theodore Roosevelt in exasperation at the lack of quality American china in the early 20th century. Even though Congress had decreed in 1826 that all furnishings purchased for the White House be manufactured in the United States, no president had ever deemed domestic porcelain worthy of the State Dining Room.
Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, like first ladies before her, hoped to purchase an American china. Upon visiting Dulin & Martin Co. — a fashionable shop in Washington, D.C. — to view a display of Lenox china, she was so impressed that she asked the store to obtain designs from the pottery. The pattern developed by Lenox's chief designer, Frank Holmes, was as restrained and dignified as the Wilsons themselves. It features a deep ivory border surrounding a brighter ivory body and two bands of matte gold encrusted with stars, stripes, and other motifs. Each of the 1,700 pieces also bears the presidential seal in raised gold. The service was delivered to the White House between August and November 1918.
The Roosevelt Service
Because of the bleak economic picture when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, no replacement china had been ordered for a year and a half, and the service was nearly depleted. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt championed the need for new china, stating that it would keep American workers employed.
The Roosevelts ordered 1,722 pieces of Lenox china through a New York store in October 1934. The design was suitably patriotic, bearing a border of 48 gold stars — one for every state — and the presidential seal in enamel colors on a lustrous ivory body. But it was also personal to the Roosevelts. The stars glimmer against a band of marine blue, inspired by the president's interest in all things nautical, and are complemented by a scroll-like inner band of gold roses and feathers, motifs adapted from the Roosevelt family crest.
The Lenox factory worked overtime, reported the media, so that the china would be ready for an important state dinner in January 1935, one of the largest affairs ever held in the White House to date. For the first time, every guest dined from a single service — from first-course oysters to after-dinner coffee.
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Lenox Presidential Offcial White House Truman China: $850