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Rutherford B. Hayes Commemorative China

by Tom Carrier (01/13/08).
Rutherford B. Hayes official White House oyster plate, 1879
Rutherford B. Hayes official White House dinner plate, 1879
Rutherford B. Hayes official White House serving plate

On occasion, online auction companies have offered a uniquely produced piece of White House china service from the Administration of Rutherford B. Hayes from 1877 to 1881.

Produced by Haviland & Co., the outdoor and nature scenes produced especially for the Hayes’ official service were and still are unmatched in the art of specialty dinnerware, especially that of the president of the United States.

What isn’t as well known is that the design itself caused such an uproar of approval that it was decided by the artist, Theodore Davis, to take out patents on his designs and allow commemorative sets to be made for sale to the general public.

So which is the official Hayes china set used at the White House and which were sold to the public?

According to “Official White House China: 1789 to the Present”, author Margaret Klapthor, each of the items made for public sale included a unique patent number and the patent date. The official White House china does not bear these patent numbers.

Each piece of the public plates are marked on the reverse as: “Design patented/August 10th, 1880/No. …..” the numbers being from 11932 to 11936, depending on the listed plate below:

11932 game course
11933 soup course
11934 dessert set
11935 fish course
11936 dinner plates

The White House official plates have the following markings on their reverse:

Fabrique par/haviland & Co./d/apres les dessins/DE/Theodore R. Davis” with the artist’s initials and the date of 1879.

17 Responses to “Rutherford B. Hayes Commemorative China”

  1. Tommy Owen says:

    I am interested to locate the following items of Rutherford B,Hayes china in commemorative patterns,

    1.oyster plates
    2. icecream platter and plates
    3. dessert plats
    4. game course china plates
    5,.fish course china plates
    6 turkey platter

    and any of the other items of his china that is repoducued

  2. Tom Carrier says:

    Mr. Owen: I can appreciate wanting to have examples of this most unusual White House china created for the Administration of Rutherford B. Hayes in the 1880s. When it was unveiled, the public couldn’t get over the fantastic outdoors theme for this newest addition to the official White House china collection. The use of snowshoes for ice cream plates, for me, was the most creative.

    I have yet to see a modern version of this design being reproduced for resale. The only examples are the ones sold to the public in the 1880s and those are the ones being offered online. As I said, these pieces were never official White House china, only commemoratives, despite what the sellers would like you to believe. Still, the final bids have ranged in the $1500 to $2500 range for each individual piece.

    All I can offer is to wish you well and good luck bidding on these items when they are next up for auction.

    Tom Carrier
    Worthologist

  3. tommy owen says:

    I am still looking for some more of the Rutherford b Hayes oyster plates I would like to locate at lease 3to 7 more to have a service for 8 or12. Also I would like to locate anymore of his china that has been reproduce

    • no name says:

      I have one of the Hayes’ Turkey Platters. No. 11936. Let me know if you are interested. I do not know the value of such a piece, but it is in excellent shape.

  4. Robert Garvey says:

    Mr. Owens- I have the set of 4 desert plates, each with a differt design, signed front and full signiture on back by T. Davis. These plates do have the patent information. I’m interested in selling them but for considerable more then the figures mentioned above in this web site. You are welcome to contact me. Sincerely. Robert Garvey

  5. Rose Ann McLaury says:

    I have a seafood plate and wish to offer it for sale. Where do you suggest?
    Thank you.

    • Dwight Abbott says:

      Please describe the Hayes seafood plate with photo if available. I am a collector, not a dealer. Please indicate offer price and comparables if available. Thanks.

      • no name says:

        I have one of the Hayes’ Turkey Platters. No. 11936. Let me know if you are interested. I do not know the value of such a piece.

      • Tommy Owen says:

        If you have the turkey platter please let me know and if so how much you are asking for it Sir/

  6. Dwight Abbott says:

    Yes, I am definitely interested in obtaining a Hayes turkey platter to add to my small Hayes collection. Please give me more specfic info on size and condition, even a photo if possible. Is it the 19″ platter with 4 curled up corners and one big brown upright turkey image covering the whole platter deck?
    Thanks.

    • no name says:

      It is the platter with the 4 curled up edges. Its in excellent condition. No chips or cracks.
      I dont know how tio upload a photo from here, but if you give me your email address, i will send it to you.

      • Dwight Abbott says:

        Yes, please reply with photo of turkey platter to dwightabb@cox.net It should be helpful in verifying the china. Thanks.

        • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

          Mr. Abbott and No Name:

          It would be much better if you took your buying and selling offline so that it would be only between the both of you. The proper venue for buying items is in WorthPoint’s Marketplace.

          Thank You.

          Tom Carrier
          Worthologist

  7. Stephanie Howard says:

    Can you help me please? I have two Hayes Presidental Oyster Plates and I’m wondering how much they are worth (I have a vague idea) and where I could possibly sell them. Thanks in advance!

    • Dwight Abbott says:

      Stephanie, The most recent sale of a Hayes oyster plate that I am aware of was on eBay, July 10 for $1599. It was described as superb condition with no stacking wear. It can be viewed here: http://cgi.ebay.com/200491260321. I have 2 such Hayes plates and would be interested in offering on yours.

  8. I have a snowshoe icecream plate without a number on it.
    It is perfect.
    I am interested in it’s value and might sell it to
    get it into a safe place.
    Interested in your input. Photo available by email request.

    • Dwight Abbott says:

      Ms. Rogers,

      You may have a valuable Hayes ice cream dish. Please send me a photo of the dish – top & bottom, if possible. My address is dwightabb@cox.net I can supply photos of an authentic ice ceam plate that you can compare. I am a collector, not a dealer. Thanks,

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