Thursday, July 12, 2012

269. George Washington and Chinese Porcelain

George Washington used Chinese porcelain as precious gifts to his friends and guests. In 1797 he gave Mrs. Samuel Power, a Chinese porcelain cooler, liner, and cover, underglaze-blue river scene with gilt handles and rims. On June 9, 1798, Mrs. Washington made Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, a Polish journalist then visiting Mount Vernon, a gift of Chinese porcelain cup with her name and the name of the United States.

As Washington’s reputation in then North America during the formative age of the United States, his appreciation for Chinese porcelain ware produced a great influence on other people since a stream of visitors to the headquarters had been served with the ware at the Commander in Chief's table. George Washington once called his home as a well-resorted tavern” and existing records confirm his statement.

According to household documents, Washington dined with his wife alone only twice in the last 20 years of his marriage. Ordinary American citizens and friends “flocked to see the President, and with customary grace, he welcomed them to home, not only for meals but to spend the night.” More about Washington and Chinese Porcelain is available through reading this paper, The Founding Fathers of the United States and Chinese Porcelain Ware

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