Thomas Jefferson: Chinese Export Teacup with Family Crest....
DescriptionThomas Jefferson: Chinese Export Teacup with Family Crest. 3.5" diameter porcelain teacup with blue decoration covering the inside rim, a circle of red & gilt decorative elements covering the outside rim, gilt & red flowers on one side and a neoclassical shield on the other side, studded with thirteen gilt stars, enclosing the gilt initial "J", surmounted by a knight's helmet. Condition: 1.5" vertical hairline crack on one of the unadorned sides, some edge chipping and roughness to the rim, two chips on the raised base, painted inventory numbers on the bottom.
Ownership traces back to Thomas Jefferson Coolidge (1831-1920), Jefferson's great-grandson. According to family lore, the service belonged to President Jefferson. Examples have been displayed at Monticello, the United States Department of State Reception Rooms and the White House. The magazine Century featured an article on the service in 1909. Jefferson died $107,000 in debt in 1826. His grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph and his granddaughter, Ellen Wayles Randolph, organized an auction of his personal effects to raise funds to pay off the debt. Ellen's grandson acquired the service at auction. His son lent the service to public collections at the turn of the century, relaying the family's history and knowledge of the service.
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