George Washington China 1789 - 1797
George and Martha Washington received this monogrammed service as a gift from the East India Company in the late spring of 1796. It is believed that the original service contained approximately 45 pieces as shown on the supplement to the cargo manifest of the trading vessel Lady Louisa when it arrived in Philadelphia. Selected by its captain, Andrea van Braam Houckgeest, the china was made in Canton, with each piece featuring Mrs. Washington's initials at the center as well as the names of all 15 states in the union at that time. A Latin motto, "Decus et tutamen ab illo" appears under Mrs. Washington's initials on a ribbon motif. This means "a glory and the defense of it." Underneath both initials and motto is a gold sunburst and a narrow border for each plate bears the motif of a snake with its tail in its mouth representing perpetuity.
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