Earlier this week, the White House unveiled its brand new china service created by Michelle Obama. Except for pops of Hawaii-inspired "Kailua blue," the 11-piece place setting adopts a rather streamlined, understated look. This was intentional, as the design strived to coordinate well with existing presidential china services, many of which are far more splashy. From Harry Truman's bold gold-and-green scheme to Rutherford B. Hayes' unorthodox take on North American flora and fauna, there have been some truly sensational moments in the White House china closet.
The James Monroe service was the first White House china set created specifically for the president. The dinner service of 30 place-settings was manufactured by Dagoty Honore in Paris in 1817. Broken pieces and ballooning dinner affairs continued to necessitate new china sets, but it wasn't until 1918, during Woodrow Wilson's second term, that a new service was produced entirely in the United States. Lenox, the company behind the Wilson service, also manufactured several other more recent sets, including those of the Clinton and Reagan presidencies.
Below, all the official presidential china services are subjectively ranked, from the most subdued to the least.
· Sneak a Peek at the New White House China Set Created By Michelle Obama