First Lady Michelle Obama recently unveiled the White House’s new china set, which was to have its maiden voyage at a Japanese State Dinner last week (read more about that here). Jenny Xie, writing for Curbed, used the opportunity to take her readers on a tour of presidential dinnerware throughout history.
Above image: China service for Rutherford B. Hayes, 1880
It’s a fun read. Most of the sets look as though they’re cut from the same cloth, but there are some strange outliers in the bunch, such as Rutherford B. Hayes’ service, which has a turkey stepping out of a burst of sunlight. Other pieces from Hayes, however, look like they could have been pulled off today’s art fair circuit. Xie ranks the sets in order of least to most flamboyant.
We asked our editor Garth Clark to rate the group and he had the following thoughts:
Hayes is the most lusciously ceramic.
Johnson’s is the most welcoming, homey but elegant.
Polk’s set, with it’s painted flowers is the grandest without being imperial.
The worst is Reagan’s. It’s something a pretentious czarina might design, or the CIA. Perhaps there was collaboration here.
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