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24 January, 2009

Let's Shop the White House China Room!!

After my post on the recently unveiled George W. Bush White House china, I became curious about the china patterns chosen by other administrations, so I set out on a quest to get a peek into the China Room at the White House. I didn't have to look far. I found a wonderful website, the White House Museum, which not only gives us a look at the China Room, but photos of the existing china patterns for many of the Presidents all the way back to George Washington! So instead of shopping the antique store for china...let's shop the White House!

photo by ejconkey
The China Room, it seems, is not where the White House china is kept, but where representative pieces of it are displayed. Somehow I had pictured cabinets to the ceiling full of stacks and stacks of wonderful old plates and rows of cups and saucers and gorgeous soup tureens, but I'll take this, if I ever get a chance to see it! Remember that even though the President's name is associated with the china, it is actually the First Lady and her taste that are represented by the pattern. Let's see what we can find!

In case you missed my previous post, this is the formal state china for the George W. Bush White House...

...and this is the informal Residence china. You can find out more by clicking here to check out my previous post.

This is Bill Clinton's famous yellow china...very elegant.

Here is the Ronald Reagan red china. I love the basket weave pattern.

This pattern represents the Lyndon B. Johnson White House, but of course everyone calls it Lady Bird's wildflowers.

Here is the pattern for the Harry Truman White House....

... Franklin Roosevelt...

...Woodrow Wilson...

...Ulysses S. Grant...

...Abraham Lincoln...

...Franklin Pierce...

...Zachary Taylor...

...James Polk...

...Andrew Jackson...

...John Quincy Adams...

...James Monroe...

...James Madison...

...Thomas Jefferson...

...and finally, George Washington.

Aren't they wonderful? Some of the older patterns seem surprisingly modern. I'm having a hard time choosing a favorite, so I'm allowing myself two! I think I'd have to choose the Thomas Jefferson for a formal pattern and the George W. Bush informal pattern for every day!
If you were shopping from the White House China Room, which patterns would you choose?


  1. All beautiful plates. Do they all get new dinnerservices when they get in the White House. Wow. My favorites are the red Ronald Reagan plates and the flower plates of Lady bird Johnson.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Definitely James Polk. Thanks for showing us this great info.
    Wonder what Laura Bush's looked like to have cost nearly 1/2 million $!!!

  3. Hi Debbie! Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your blog's title because I am a fellow dish lover.

    It is really hard to pick a favorite out of those that you posted. My top three are Ronald Reagan, James Madison, and Lyndon B. Johnson. I'd love to see all of the beautiful dishes on display.

  4. Love your blog. I'm a fellow plate addict. Being a blue and white fan I love Thomas Jefferson's pattern. Choice 2 is Franklin Pierce. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the china room!

  5. Oh definitely "all the way with LBJ" - do you remember that slogan? I'm a huge admirer of Lady Bird Johnson, and that pattern so reflects her taste. If you're ever in central Texas, you should visit her wildflower center, it's amazing! kathy

  6. Oh Debbie, for formal it would have to be Ronald Reagan. I love the red and the basketweave design. Then for informal I love Lady Bird Johnson's beautiful flowers. It is really interesting to see that George Washington represented all the states at the time around his plate. Thanks for the tour. Hugs, Marty

  7. Debbie, I like the Polk china (which has been reproduced), and I like Jefferson's. There's some sort of china (a different pattern from the presidential) that was reproduced for Washington by Mottahedeh, and I love it, too! Maybe the Society of Cincinnatus (sp)?

    This was fun. Thanks for sharing!


    Sheila :-)

  8. Quelle jolies assiettes! Je ne sais pas laquelle je préfère...peut-être celle de RReagan...mmmmm.....ou celle de Jefferson....mmmme....ou?? Merci pour la petite visite à Washington. Linda

  9. What an amazing collection, Debbie! My favorites are James Polk's, Reagan's and Lyndon Johnson's. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being a faithful follower of my blog too...Christine

  10. Hi Debbie! Oh, this was so pretty! I loved the James Polk's dishes. I'm sure all these pretty dishes are just sitting in some cabinets at the White House. You know they could call us and we could all take a set! lol
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  11. How fun..... since I love blue/white..I'd have to go with Thomas Jefferson's plates

  12. When we toured the White House a few years ago we got to see the plates. Beautiful! Thanks for your tour of closeup pictures, I loved it!

  13. Hi Debbie,
    I think my fave's are the Grant and Polk's. What a wonderful post, I love history and I love china, good combo! Cindy

  14. Hi Debbie!
    I'm just coming up for air after a busy week at school, but I did want you to know that you've been in my thoughts all week. I hope today finds you doing well! :-)
    I love how I always get a FUN education when I visit your blog! Just loved looking at all the beautiful collections! L~

  15. What a fabulous post.I like Reagan the best I think.Even though I wouldn't mind having any of them,huh?...Ann

  16. Ooohhh, there's so many beautiful patterns, it's hard to choose! I'm going to visit the website & drool some more! ♥

  17. Debbie this was just wonderful girl..and I really loved the Polk and Lady Bird if I had to choose of course I would take any of Washington and the states around the plates..great post thanks...hope you have a great weekend..your Page is in my prays girl...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  18. I noticed that a number of the plates display the Presidential seal. I wonder if that helps to deter the theft of a piece of the china by a souvenir seeking guest.

    For a formal service I think I would choose the Clinton china and for a more casual setting probably the Johnson china would serve very nicely.

  19. Ils sont si merveilleux, ne sont-ils pas?
    Eh bien, je dois le dire, je choisirais Jefferson's, Pierce, et de Regan!
    Ils sont tous beaux, dans leur propre droit .. je suis simplement shopping pour la maison! LOL

    Vos messages ne jamais décevoir, Mme Debbie ... Je me sens toujours comme si j'avais eu le plaisir d'absorber les éléments de connaissances tout en discutant avec un ami!

  20. What a great post! I tried to pick just one but couldn't. Thank you so much for taking the time to creat this lovely tour for us.

  21. Debbie, what a fun and interesting post. I've pulled up the sight and I'm looking forward to checking it out. I like more than 2. I guess that's exceptable when you're a plate addict right? :-) I liked Lyndon B. Johnson's, Woodrow Wilson's, and Abraham Lincolns. I'm also curious to see that the Bush china looks like. What a lovely tour.. hugs ~lynne~

  22. Debbie, thanks for swinging back by to let me know about Bush's china. Of those 2 sets I prefer in the informal. What was your choice? Hugs ~lynne~

  23. Ok, if I get to pick two, also, I'd go with James Polk as my first choice and Thomas Jefferson as my second. But I really like James Polk's china by far, the most. Wonder what it sells for on eBay? HA! :-)

  24. Oh my goodness...I saw several I loved, but the Ronald Reagan red china really stood out. Both of the Geo. W's china are favorites...too bad they never got to use them or did they?
    ;-) Bo

  25. Hi Bo... No, sadly, I don't think so! I would at least have a hamburger on it before I left, though!!

  26. My favorites were Reagan's and Grant's! Great post - what fun it would be to get into those dish cupboards!!! Sally

  27. Hi Glenda...I added the Bush china to the post, since several people had not seen it. That changes my informal favorite to the Bush rather than the Johnson, I think.
    Interesting point about the seal. I think I read somewhere that it has become a tradition to have it there in more recent times. Someone...was it you?...said on the Bush china post that Barbara Walters told the story of being at a White House dinner when someone was caught trying to steal a bread plate! Can you imagine??? Have a great weekend...Debbie

  28. Hi Debbie
    Thanks so much for this post. I love the Reagan formal and the Bush informal. All are beautiful.

  29. Each one of these plates are so different. I am going to have to narrow it down to three. I am the type of person who loves everything! I cannot pick just one, it is impossible for me. Ok, so they are Ronald Reagan, LBJ & James Polk.

    Thank you so much for taking us on the tour.


  30. A most interesting and fun post! Think I'll have to select three favorites: the Harry Truman china and the George W. Bush pattern. They are similar but in different colors. Both are very elegant to me. But, my preference from all of them is the George W. Bush informal Residence pattern. It's just too pretty to eat off. I love your posts because I learn so much and have fun at the same time. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. Sharon♥♥

  31. Hi Debbie, Thank you for the link to the white house site. I think all of the patterns are just lovely. If I had to choose it would be
    Ronald Regan and Lyndon Johnson. I hope you have a great weekend.

  32. Debbie, there is an award for you on my blog because you are such a wonderful blogger!

  33. These are all lovely patterns, but I would definitely choose "W's" china! About that iced tea goblet and iced teaspoon...yes, the teaspoon remains inside the goblet if there is no saucer or spoon rest provided; i.e., at the Red Lobster!

  34. Great post Debbie! The one I would pick would be the one that was the biggest bargain, of course! I am such a china nut, I loved all of them! laurie

  35. Hi Debbie,
    Oh my goodness! I love them all! If I have to pick a favorite it definitely would be the Bush pattern - of course it may be because he is a favorite of mine! I also love Polk's design.
    What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing!

  36. Hi Deb,there you again taking us on another wonderful trip.I hope I am dressed appropriately.I have to say it is James Polk china for me and if that is not available I will go with the Thomas Jefferson pattern.If they were giving it to me I would take any of them they are all gorgeous.Can you just imagine how lovely the banquet room must have looked in candlelight and all the silve and crystal gleaming.OOOOH! Kathysue

  37. Debbie... I picked the same two as you...though Lady Bird's wildflowers were a very close second to Mr. Jefferson's for me...

    I don't much care for the gold... but each to his own (presidency) I guess... ;) Dixie

  38. Debbie,
    The story relayed in your original post on the White House china about a guest's thievery or attempted thievery wasn't by me.

    The reason I chose the Clinton China wasn't because of the pattern, but because of the color. I think it would coordinate with most any floral arrangements and leave plenty of room for variety in the choice of flowers for the arrangements.

  39. I do love the George W. Bush/Laura Bush patterns...lovely. It's also funny how they reflect the styles. And oh, I remember the kerfluffle over the Reagan china...he was the first president I voted for and I just couldn't understand the brouhaha...the White House represents US...and there had not been new china in years....and it was a GIFT! Boy, get over it!

    Lovely to see all of it...I'd LOVE to 'shop' the White House and furnish

  40. I found this so interesting! I loved the Bush formal and also Truman's. Dana


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