A Look Back at Presidential China Patterns

The Obamas just revealed their official design, but they follow in the footsteps of many administrations before them.

Samantha Toscano
Not every president had official state china, but the dinnerware that did exist offers a unique peek into life at the White House.
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White House Historical Association
James Monroe
The first official White House china set was actually made in Paris in 1817, but began the traditional of prominently featuring the national symbol of the eagle.
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White House Historical Association
James K. Polk
The Polks' dinnerware was quite frilly, with scalloped edges and floral details, compared to the more staid sets designed for recent presidents.
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White House Historical Association
Abraham Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln was the first First Lady to play a major role in choosing the state china. She chose a popular purple hue (called "solferino") for the edges.
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White House Historical Association
Rutherford B. Hayes
Lucy Hayes hired an artist to adorn the state china with animals (like this wild turkey), plants, and other peeks into the American landscape.
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White House Historical Association
William Henry Harrison
Gilded corn wraps the Harrisons' dinnerware, which represents the first lady's home state of Indiana.
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White House Historical Association
Theodore Roosevelt
Simple, but stately, gold lines are the highlight of the Roosevelts' Wedgwood-made design.
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Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Wilson's blue and gold state china was the first to be manufactured in the United States.
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White House Historical Association
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Though the economy was intensely depressed, the White House was desperately in need of more china. Eleanor Roosevelt ordered 1,722 pieces of Lenox, noting it would help keep Americans employed.
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White House Historical Association
Harry S. Truman
The Trumans chose a celadon green to match the newly redecorated State Dining Room.
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White House Historical Association
Dwight D. Eisenhower
An impressive raised gold rim marks the Eisenhower china, designed to pair well with the Truman pattern.
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White House Historical Association
Lyndon B. Johnson
Hand-painted wildflowers make this collection decidedly feminine, a mark of Lady Bird Johnson's involvement in the design.
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Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Nancy Reagan (whose favorite color was scarlet) needed to order a whopping 4,370 pieces of new Lenox china to accommodate the ever-growing state dinners at the White House.
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White House Historical Association
Bill Clinton
The creamy yellow Clinton china was designed to commemorate the bicentennial of the White House as the home of the first family.
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White House Historical Association
George W. Bush
Laura Bush chose green for this iteration of the presidential china, since it would look lovely with any floral arrangement.
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White House Historical Association
Barack Obama
The Obamas' china service includes pops of the newly named "Kailua blue," a nod to the president's home state of Hawaii. Read more about .
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