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    Rutherford B. Hayes: White House Soup Plate. Produced by Haviland & Co. as part of the Hayes White House china service, this 9" soup plate is one of a series of twelve soup plates with printed and delicately hand-painted designs, this one designated "Southward Flight". It is printed on the side with The Great Seal of the United States and stamped on the reverse H&Co., Theodore R. Davis and Design Patented August 10th, 1880 No. 11933 as found on those pieces marketed for sale. This example is simply gorgeous and in mint condition. It is signed "D", likely for Theodore Davis. The state dinner service ordered by Hayes was the first of its kind. Following tradition, the original order to Haviland & Co. from the White House was for fern decorated china, but after the First Lady, Lucy Webb Hayes met Theodore Davis, an artist/reporter for Harper's Weekly, her choice quickly changed. Davis convinced Mrs. Hayes that the White House china should be designed by an American and should depict American motifs. He succeeded and won the commission to create the designs. Davis painted 130 different watercolors as well as modeling twelve new shapes of plates for the service. Though the new service was more extensive, consisting of more than 1,000 pieces, and much more expensive to create than the china Mrs. Hayes had first ordered, Haviland & Co. honored the original contract, billing the U.S. government a mere $4,000, probably one fifth of what it actually cost the company to create. With the hope to recoup some of their losses, Haviland & Co. produced pieces of the service for sale to the public; these pieces have a patent mark on the obverse.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    11th-12th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 936

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