White House China Service Revealed by First Lady Michelle Obama

The new Obama State China Service is here and we have exclusive details from First Lady Michelle Obama about the historic dishware designs.

At first glance, this may look like another set of beautiful china. But there's something special about this dishware; it happens to be presidential! I'm Katie Parker, Senior Digital Editor for Better Homes & Gardens. I had the privilege to go to the White House to see the new state china service and meet the First Lady Michelle Obama. The Obama state china service has two elements you'll notice right away. The first is a blue band, and the other is a gold detail. The blue color was inspired by the waters off of President Obama's home state of Hawaii. They named it Kailua Blue. The matte gold detail was picked to match the china sets from Presidents Eisenhower, Truman, and Clinton. Now all of their dishes can be used together! I spoke with the White House curator, William Allman. He describes how the state china service has changed over the years. The more recent services have had fewer pieces per place setting. Some of the chinas were ordered--like the Franklin Roosevelt china was sort of the idea that they would use it all day, so there was a cereal bowl. I mean, it wasn't meant to be just for "state dinners" and formal entertaining, it was meant to be kind of china for your whole day. Mrs. Reagan in 1981 ordered 19 pieces per place setting because she had cream soup cup, bouillon cup, ramekin cup, tea cup, she wanted to make sure she had everything you could ever want for an official dinner. Allman revealed a new addition to the china set, the tureen and soup bowl. The little tureen and the somewhat larger soup bowl were created so that courses could be more inventive. And so the soup bowl could be used for dessert if it called for some kind of ice cream creation or something. This china set, like so many of the ones before it, adds a new chapter to the tradition of the state dinner. And it was an honor to watch history be served!

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