Lot #7
Thomas Jefferson White House China Dessert Bowl

Rare, elegant dessert bowl from Jefferson's White House china service
This lot has closed

Estimate: $15000+


Rare, elegant dessert bowl from Jefferson's White House china service

Extraordinarily rare circa 1790s china dessert bowl from Thomas Jefferson's White House service. The stunningly beautiful white Chinese export porcelain serving plate measures 6.25″ in diameter and 1″ tall, and features painted blue borders with gilt fleur-de-lis edges. Center of the bowl bears an exceptional hand-painted design featuring Jefferson’s neoclassical shield studded with 13 gold stars enclosing the script initial “J,” surmounted by a plumed knight’s helmet. Restored to fine condition, with some repaired cracks to the base and most gilt designs worn away.

This particular gilt “J” dinner service has long been linked to Thomas Jefferson, including being published in Official White House China (mentioning early Chinese export) by M.B. Klapthor, with examples at one time on display at Monticello, the US State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and the White House (before at least 1908). Jefferson's 19th century direct lineal descendants strongly believed in Jefferson's ownership of the 1790s "J" service, sought to re-acquire it, and then gifted four "J" pieces to the White House in the early 1900's—where each piece has remained for over 100 years. An incredibly rare opportunity to acquire such an attractive piece of US history, as most, if not all, of the other china from the first three presidents were destroyed when the British ransacked and burned the Executive Mansion during the War of 1812.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #616 - Ended September 15, 2021