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15 January, 2009

The New White House China...or...Plate Envy!

Have you seen the new White House china? No? Ohhhh! All you tablescapers and fellow dish/plate addicts, hold on to your hats! It was unveiled on January 7, 2009, by First Lady Laura Bush. It seems that it has been in production for several years and took much longer than expected. It was paid for by the White House Historical Association Acquisition Trust with private funds. There are two patterns. I am showing you this less formal one first because it is my favorite. This pattern is called Magnolia Residence and is for use in the Private Residence. It has 75 place settings and will be used for smaller dinner parties and luncheons as well. The magnolia design is based on the huge, old Jackson magnolia, supposedly the oldest tree on the White House lawn, which was brought as a seedling from the Hermitage by President Andrew Jackson.



There are accompanying pieces in a nature pattern as well. I love this one! The pattern was designed in Virginia by Anna Weatherley and produced by Pickard China in Antioch, Illinois. Anna Weatherley is a real American success story. She immigrated as an adult from Hungary and has had a very successful career in creating hand-painted china. I love the ladybugs crawling around on the plate...especially the one in the middle! It's so unexpected!



Look at the detail! Do you see the little blue snail sliding along the branch? Hmmm...note to self: look for some placemats like those for Tablescape Tuesday. Oh? Did I really just say that? I'm getting sucked in.....lol!



This is the more formal pattern, the George W. Bush State China. It has 17 piece place settings and service for 320 guests. It is for large formal functions, such as dinners in the Rose Garden, and has plenty of pieces to allow for breakage, which happens even is the White House. It has the traditional eagle in the center and gold rims and was produced here in the U.S. by Lenox. I don't know about you, but I am eyeing those pearl-handled knives! They are from the Wilson White House in 1920.



Here's a close-up of the rim. I love the basket-weave detail! Mrs. Bush consulted with her floral designer Nancy Clarke and decided to use green so that it would be a little different from the more recent State china patterns, the Reagan red and Clinton yellow. Wow! Would this make great Spring or maybe Christmas china! I bet you tablescapers are creating images in your fertile minds right now! This is of one of the accompanying plates which have a smaller version of the eagle adorning the edge.




And just look at the beautiful cup and saucer! The pattern was inspired by a few remaining pieces of French china from about 1800 that the Madisons brought with them when they came to the White House. Notice that the eagle is repeated on the cup. Isn't this exquisite? Which do you like better, the formal or the informal? I know I'll probably never get a chance to be at a dinner at the White House and to see either pattern in person, but if I ever do, I'm going to ask the server to just give me an empty plate so I can sit and admire it! I'd be too nervous to eat anyway!

48 comments:

  1. What beautiful china! I love the magnolias.
    We have acquired a load of plates from my mother-in-law that she had collected through the years...all in styrofoam packaging they came in. One of these days, I have to go through them to see what we have. I have no idea of the value!

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  2. Debbie... I so enjoy your posts about china. I've had an afinity for china since early childhood (probably the fault of my Great-Grandmother), but I've never known anyone that "knew" and loved china. Thank you for sharing not only you love, but you knowledge as well!

    I love the informal (though the formal is beautiful). The magnolia speaks to my southern gal heart... and it reminds me of a pattern I have, originally produced by Syracuse China. The Magnolia is my favorite, but it's the (i think)chinese magnolia, not the southern magnolia in Ms. Bush's china. I think I'll use them in my next Tuesday Tablescape!

    Barbara Walters was talking about a state dinner recently with someone that had attended... they stole a butter plate... keep an eye out on ebay!

    hugs... Dixie

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  3. Looking forward to sharing...by the way...check out this site...http://www.dumpr.net
    You can make some cute photos of your pets!

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  4. Ooh, I'm drooling! I especially like the nature plate. I have a set of hors d'oeuvres knives and forks in my shop like the pearl-handled ones from the Wilson White House...

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  5. Love this article on the china! I love the Magnolia! Well I am from Mississippi! lol But I do not have the first Magonlia! Oh except for the plants I am rooting! I gave my Dad a tree at seventeen, its planted on my grandparents place, its huge now. That's where I got my cuttings. I love the place mats. I had some similar years ago and a garage sale got them. lol Lessons learned with age.

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  6. Oh, and just think, Lenox is my favorite.
    At least what I can afford. This is so beautiful.
    Blossom

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  7. Absolutely beautiful! Certainly made my little heart go pittypat!

    Wonderful post!

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  8. I wonder if the Obamas will commission a new pattern to leave behind when they exit the White House. Talk about a storage problem. I feel certain they have a whole section of the White House devoted to nothing but china storage.

    I agree with you. To me the Magnolia Residence pattern displays a more interesting presence, casual but elegant. The formal George W. Bush State China is more in keeping with very formal occasions.

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  9. Thank you for sharing pictures of all that beautiful china. I prefer the formal setts, don't know why. reading about all this I remember having china I never use but that I can show now and then. I have a litle teaservice that is handpainted in Hungary with a one haired brush. I once saw a show of it an a beautiful store

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  10. Oh Debbie, what envy I have.. I'm with you. I would just ask for an emyty plate, I would far too nervous to eat...hugs ~lynne~

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  11. Oh that magnolia china just sings to this girl from Mississippi! And the detail on the nature pattern is just incredible. While the formal service is lovely, I so prefer the more "casual" china. Thanks so much for posting this. Does each administration pick new china? Or just if they want to? Off to google I go, hugs, Kathy

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  12. I am impressed.Where did you get this?How did you find out?This is wonderful.I like the formal the best.ooh-la-la.And the flatwar.wowow.I lve it all...Ann

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  13. Totally and completely the informal set. Of course the formal one is beyond gorgeous, however, I choose to entertain on a more personal level...so for The Painted Nest parties, the magnolias, ladybugs and snails would be great (caution...I assure my guests, these are not appetizers)...LOL

    Isn't it a shame that it took so long to make them??? What little use they will receive...

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  14. Just beautiful Debbie and look what only $485,000. can buy now days..any way I will keep my thoughts to myself..thanks for sharing this Debbie..hugs and smiles Gloria

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  15. Oh absolutely stunning......sometimes I think plates like these are made just for looking at...who wants knife marks on them.

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  16. I love the sweet nature plate. I'd probably either drop the plate in my lap or break something....

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  17. Oh my word! Can you even imagine the grandeur of one of the White House soirees?! The china is wonderful though, isn't it? I too love the magnolias...it speaks of home to us southern girls! :-) Thanks so much for posting these photos!

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  18. Hi Debbie,
    Thank-you for sharing this! You know, I'm from a cold northern state and I love the magnolias too! (maybe I should really be living in the south) My ancesters are from Kentucky, and I lived in New Orleans as a baby, hmmm. Yesterday I toured your beautiful home pics. So lovely, blue and yellow is my alltime fav, my living room and 1 bedroom are blue and yellow. Keep sharing, Cindy

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  19. Debbie, I loved seeing this china. That first pattern is SO wonderful! Now, I think the White House needs to have a big garage sale and get rid of some of their old china! I'd be there! laurie

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  20. Wow, Debbie, both patterns are so beautiful. I agree with you, I would be afraid to touch either one. You are just the bes to let us at least see them. Now since Lynette has been to the White House, maybe she can tell us all about it. lol I'm such a novice dish addict, but I sure would love these. Hugs, Marty

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  21. How beautiful they both are but I think I'd really prefer to have the Magnolia and nature themed pattern. The formal is a bit stuffy for me but the smaller pieces of that pattern of the prettiest. I can't even imagine actually eating off either of them. I'm sure I'd break something. Thanks for the post! I loved seeing the patterns and learning about them.

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  22. What a great post! Thank you. I think I like the informal the best, but I don't know, I really like the formal cup and saucer. Wouldn't you just love to be invited to tea?

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  23. Since I'm a china nut, Debbie, I love this! Anna Weatherley is one of my favorites, though a bit pricey. Love all of her cute bugs and leaves on patterns I've seen.

    I like the Bush state china. It's very attractive. I can't wait to see what the new president and his wife select. I love looking at the various chinas selected. Oh, if only I could live in that china room they have! Bet you'd like to do that, too! :-)

    XO,

    Sheila

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  24. I've been slogging away on my revisions, and this post was like a drink of cool water. I loved the tour of dishes.

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  25. What beautiful china! The magnolia is my favorite too. Thanks for checking out the frames! Kristen

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  26. What a wonderful unexpected post...I love the nature china with the little blue snail...Do you know why the china just came out now as the Bush's are leaving the WHite House. It's a shame they won't be able to enjoy it...very fun post...Thanks for sharing...

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  27. I just watched Nora (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0zgQAp7EYw). She's amazing! Do your little ones have any hidden talents? ♥

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  28. Hi Debbie,
    They are both really beautiful and very charming.
    I love the butterfly. What detail.
    Thanks for showing us the patterns.
    ~Melissa :)

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  29. Hi Glenda! Are you staying warm? I think there's actually a china room plus additional storage in the Residence. I could only hope to be accidentally locked in that room!! Can you imagine! I believe each President can create a set of china if they wish. Unfortuantely, theirs just took so long that they can't enjoy it. Do you think the Obamas will invite them back so they can have a formal dinner using the plates? lol I'd sneak some mac and cheese at least on one of those plates before I left! Have a great weekend and stay warm!! We are continuing to be hopeful as things continue to improve here at home!...hugs...Debbie

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  30. Oh, Debbie! THANK YOU sooo much for the most delicious "midnight snack"!!! ~~~ As much as I loved it ALL, I must admit to loving the QUALITY of these even more~~~ just stunning! So glad you took the time to share! THANK YOU and best wishes, Linda

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  31. Hi Debbie...I agree with Laurie (Bargain Hunting) that the White House needs to have a garage sale on the "old" china...The magnolia pattern stole my heart. ;-) Bo

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  32. Oh, thanks so much for dropping by, Linda! I love to see a comment fromyou! hugs...Debbie

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  33. Hi Deb,You always have the most interestin post.My thought is Oh my what a lot of money can buy.I loved seeing some of the older china patterns used by previous presidents when visiting the white house.I am partial to older looking pieces but these are truly elegant.I think I like the informal ones the best but I love the green lattice work around the edges of the formal.I think they will be easier to set a table with and have wonderful centerpieces where the maganolia set will be a bit busy so they will be the center of attention.Boy am I analytical, now you know how my brain works.Sometimes it is a little scarey,hehe,Hugs Kathysue Thank you for sharing

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  34. Oh, Debbie! From one dishaholic to another - this was a wonderful post! Oh, I agree with you, the magnolia design is my favortite, too!
    The formal setting is beautiful, but only for presidents! lol
    Thanks for the visit, Dear One,
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  35. Thanks for this wonderful post! I love the formal china the best - if I'm going to dream, I'm going to dream fancy! In this economy, I question does the U.S. need any more china in the White House? Maybe the Obamas won't pick out any more. What am I saying? - I can't keep from buying more dishes either!!! Sally

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  36. Wow, I love the Anna Weatherley. I have a few of her pieces and would like more but now that she is doing the White House the price will probably sky rocket. Good for Anna and the White House, bad for me.
    Great post. It is so nice to meet you.
    Sue

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  37. Debbie, would you please email me?
    designsbygollum@gmail.com
    Thank you!

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  38. Debbie these were truly beautiful;) Love the details on them;) Hugs French

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  39. I think the china is beautiful and wish it was available to regular folks like us!

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  40. Thanks for sharing these beautiful exquisite china, Debbie. My favorite is the magnilia pattern. But of course, I am from Miss....Christine

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  41. The magnolia set is sooooo beautiful! I feel my knees going soft.such incredible details too!

    Thanks for sharing because that just made me decide something..i'm going to the store to get a plate that I have been eyeing thats of ALMOST the same colour shade as the magnolia plate..its a nature design too and i just got to get it now! sigh..

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  42. I really like the magnolia residence pattern and those gawwwgeous place mats. I am still over whelmed at reading 75 place settings!

    That you for the lesson, I learned something today.

    *dashes off to see if the Prime Minister or Governer General have special patterns also*

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  43. Debbie, I loved this post. All of the china is to die for. I couldn't imagine eating off something so beautiful.
    Hugs, Terrie

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  44. Oh, I'm sad to think that the Bushes will not be able to enjoy such fabulous china.

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  45. HI Debbie, this is my first visit and WOW~~~~ what gorgeous china, I am drooling all over myself. I, to, have learned too late to appreciate the wonderful world of dishes. I wish I had been brought up to appreciate the FINER things. Cause now I SO love them and have several sets but nothing so gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing this. I had just heard about the dishes recently on the news, I think and wanted so much to see them. I am going to try now to tour your home! Pinky

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  46. Thank you so much for sharing these! They are both beautiful patterns!!!!

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  47. Beautiful...I have never seen the White House china...very interesting for dish nuts like myself!

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie