In the President’s Service

In the President's Service
A gift from Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Norway, this gold and enamel Art Deco tea set, circa 1930, was sent to Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Following Monroe’s presidential terms, state services tended to be French- or English-made. During the 19th century, several presidents relied on services manufactured by French companies, such as Dagoty et Honoré of Paris and Haviland & Co. However, the late 19th century and early 20th century saw a shift from French to English companies, such as Wedgwood, Minton, and Haughwout & Dailey.

“The reasons that services were picked, why they were picked, the designs that were picked vary by administration and were very different from the 19th to the 20th century,” Matthew says. “For most of the United States presidency’s history, presidents and first ladies were using French porcelain because that was considered the best porcelain in the world.”

In the President's Service
A gift for Helen and William H. Taft’s 25th wedding anniversary, this tea and coffee set, complete with a sugar bowl, was made by Lenox China in 1911. The silver overlay is engraved with a T and the couple’s years of marriage, 1886–1911.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson veered from the antecedent and commissioned the first American-manufactured state dinner service from Lenox in Trenton, New Jersey. The use of Lenox china during the Wilson administration set a new precedent for future presidents to use domestic-made china, including Castleton China from Pennsylvania by the Johnsons and Pickard China from Illinois by the Obamas. The Trumps have been using patterns from The White House Collection and have not yet unveiled a pattern of their own choosing.