Michelle Obama Unveils New White House China: Kailua Blue

Kailua Blue


Photo from the Associated Press

Michelle Obama is a happy woman.  The White House China she spent three years picking out after consultations with Pickard China in Antioch, Illinois, has arrived.  It has enough pieces to serve 320 people, individual soup tureens for guests, and will be on the tables for this week’s state dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But most impressively, the service will be known as “Kailua Blue.”  Consider the details:

Michelle Obama’s office said the first lady chose what’s been dubbed “Kailua Blue” to distinguish her family’s china from the red, green, blue and yellow used on more recent state services.

A fluted band of Kailua Blue, framed by a textured gold rim and a simple gold inner line, appears on all pieces of the service, except for the dinner and serving plates. The solid white dinner plates are edged in gold; the service plates have a wide gold rim and the presidential coat of arms at the center.

“It’s a modern and fresh color not previously seen on state chinas, but Mrs. Obama’s main goal was to create a modern service that is completely compatible and interchangeable and usable with all the historic china services,” White House Curator William Allman said during a preview of Tuesday’s state dinner.

To be honest, this is a bit of a tradition, and many other first ladies have bought new services.  Most recently, Laura Bush spent $493,000 on new china.

So, how much did this set cost the U.S. taxpayer?  Nothing.  “The purchase of the china was funded by a special donation from the White House Endowment Trust of the White House Historical Association, a private, nonprofit organization.”  The final price was not disclosed.  However, the endowment plunked down somewhere around seven figures for official state china.  After all, the Obama legacy has to leave something useful behind even if this is White House china service number 15.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.