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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White House China for Presidents' Day

My tablescape for this week will be in honor of Presidents' Day and I will be sharing this at Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. I am also linking to Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life.
This is the Lincoln China and this ornament is the inspiration for this table and a new collection of mine! My older daughter had to travel on business to Kentucky this fall and while she was there, she visited the Mary Todd Lincoln birthplace. In the gift shop, they sold these ornaments, so she bought one for me and one for herself. I loved it and it made us wonder if you could find other ornaments of White House china and we discovered Woodmere China Company's White House Collection! My Lincoln ornament is shaped like a little plate, but the ornaments from Woodmere are flat, but they go together very well! A little about the Lincoln China: it features a band of purple-red called "solferino," which was all the rage in the 1860's. This china was from President Lincoln's first term. There was a different service ordered for his second, but the Lincolns hardly used it because he was assassinated two months after it was delivered.
This is the Washington China. Although George and Martha never lived in the White House or Executive Mansion, I still consider this White House China. It has MW monogrammed in the center for Martha Washington and a snake with its tail in its mouth to represent perpetuity.
Next is the James K. Polk China. President Polk was born in my home state of North Carolina and graduated from my Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina. Sarah Polk graduated from Salem College, Alma Mater of my older daughter and current school of my younger daughter. I think this is the prettiest pattern. The ornament is too small to duplicate it, but the larger plates had a red, white and blue shield with "E pluribus unum" at the top.
This is the Benjamin Harrison China. Caroline Harrison had once taught china painting and designed this china herself. Before Mrs. Harrison's time, the White House had yard sales and sold off odd pieces of china from previous administrations. Mrs. Harrison made restoring and cataloging the remaining White House china her project.
This china is from the administration of Andrew Jackson. He wanted to have his china "made in the USA," but alas, the level of craftsmanship was not up to White House standards. Like most of the porcelain in America at that time, this came from France.
I had a hard time capturing the lovely green border of the Millard Filmore China. The Filmore family brought a lot of their own items with them into the White House and this china is thought to have been from their family collection.
The last ornament of my collection if the Ulysses S. Grant china. American artist William E. Seaton worked with the French firm Haviland to create this pretty pattern. Different flowers adorned different items and different sized plates.
On the back it tells which president used the china.
Here are all the ornament displayed on the ornament tree. There are 16 ornaments available and I only have 7, I can't wait to add to my collection!
I used my Old Glory placemats and Spode Pink Tower china for my table.
Here is the whole Presidents' Day table - Have a very Happy Presidents' Day!
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