President Lincoln service Dinner Plate, 1861

Lincoln Dinner Plate

Maker: E. V. Haughwout and Company

Date Made: 1861

Medium: Porcelain, enamel paint

Courtesy of The White House, Office of the Curator

White dinner plate decorated with a version of the Great Seal of the United States in center, and "E Pluribus Unum" underneath.  The bald eagle holds an olive branch and arrows in its talons while perched on a shield, looking towards the side of peace.  The edge of the plate has a royal purple border lined with gold dots and edged with a gold cable design.  The china pattern was the Kennedys' preferred pattern for use at smaller private dinners. Although the china pattern was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln in 1861 to be used as the Lincoln White House china dinnerware, E.V. Haughwout originally designed the dinnerware for President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), but the commission was never approved.  Mrs. Lincoln approved the pattern but changed the border to a brilliant purple called "solferino," a color that was popular among fashionable hosts of the Lincolns' day.



The John F. Kennedy Library, Courtesy of The White House, Office of the Curator