Behind The Design President John Adams' Blue Cornflower China by anamaulida


									While not having the provenance of the Washington -œStates-• china, the
French Sevres porcelain dinnerware with the delicate blue cornflower
design of John and Abigail Adams holds the distinction as being likely
the first china used in what would become to be known as The White House.
Many of the pieces held by the Smithsonian Institution bear dates of
1783, 1784, and 1785, which would correspond with Adams' diplomatic
missions to Holland, France, and England. It is likely he picked up
pieces and sets to be used when he returned to his Massachusetts home.
While there were most certainly purchases for china and serveware during
Adams time in Philadelphia as President, there is no record of what those
purchases may have been as President Adams took charge of his own
purchasing of furnishings. In late 1800, when the U.S. Capitol moved from
Philadelphia to Washington, Thomas Claxton, from the House of
Representatives was directed to move the Adams' household articles to
Washington and to procure new furnishings for The Executive Mansion.
Claxton did his best to see that the President and First Lady were
comfortable in their new home, but this was hardly the case.

  Described by Abigail Adams in letters to family and friends, the new
living situation as less than ideal and, specifically, in the transition
-œmany things were stolen-¦.my tea china is more than half missing.-•
Even though the mansion was only partially furnished, the Adams managed
to still enjoy a New Year's reception in 1801. The event was held in the
upstairs oval room, with a standard of entertaining that the Washingtons
had established as the norm. While difficult to authenticate, given Mrs.
Adams love for blue china, it is very likely that the blue cornflower
designed, Sevres-made china from the Adams' personal belongings was the
first china used in the new Presidential mansion.

Related Articles -
John adams' china, Presidential china, Abigail Adams' china, Sevres

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