• Important American Furniture,  auction at Christies

    Sale 2200

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art & Prints

    30 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 111

    A Rutherford B. Hayes (President, 1877-1881) Presidential Pattern Oyster Plate


    Price Realised  


    A Rutherford B. Hayes (President, 1877-1881) Presidential Pattern Oyster Plate
    Designed by Theodore Davis, Haviland & Co., Limoges, circa 1880
    Marked on underside with United States Seal, 'FABRIQUÈ PAR HAVILAND & CO. d'après les dessin D E', 'Theo: R. Davis', 'DESIGN PATENTED AUGUST 10th 1880', and 'H&Co.'
    Together with an autographed card signed Rutherford B. Hayes
    8¾ in. diameter

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The pattern for the innovative service commissioned by Rutherford B. Hayes' administration was the result of a collaboration between the First Lady and Harper's Weekly artist Theodore Davis. Even though each piece was individually executed at the Limoges factory in France, the design and concept was in every way American. Decorated with different representations of American flora, fauna and wildlife this service truly reflects the artistic trends in America at the time. Furthermore, as seen in the present example of the oyster dish, Haviland did not conform to conventional shapes. The present lot has five oyster shaped recesses highlighted with gilding. Although oyster dishes were not part of the original order, Haviland produced them after the fact as a supplement to the service. At the time of its production, the public interest in the service was so intense that the artist took out patents to reproduce the individual pieces for public sale. The service is discussed at length in Margaret Brown Klapthor's book Official White House China (second edition, New York 1999), specifically on pages 102-122 with a similar example illustrated on p. 103.

    Pre-Lot Text