University Archives

Lot 293

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Ronald Reagan Inauguration Candlelight Dinner Chinese Export Style Mottahedeh Porcelain Dinner Plate

A Mottahedeh dinner plate from one of the legendary Reagan-era Candlelight Dinners commemorating the inauguration of 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) and Vice President George H.W. Bush (1924-2018).

The Chinese Export style porcelain plate features Fitzhugh type decoration (flowers, insects, latticework, etc.) in green in the well as well as along the lip. A triumphant American eagle appears at the center. Printed in black verso as "Candlelight Dinner / Inauguration of President and Vice President / Reagan / Bush / January 18, 1981." The maker's mark appears as "Mottahedeh, New York" and "Shenango China, Division of Anchor Hocking, New Castle, Pa." verso. Apparently unused. Minor glaze imperfections to the underside, else near fine. 10" diameter x 1" deep. The plate rests snugly in a custom fitted gilt chipboard box marked "Inauguration of President and Vice President / Reagan / Bush" on the exterior. The top lid has a split corner, and there are minor water stains and isolated scuffs, else very good to near fine. The box measures 11" wide x 11.25" long x 1.5" deep.

This limited edition dinner plate may have been gifted to an attendee of one of Candlelight Dinners held at the Kennedy Center in the days immediately leading up to the inauguration; tickets cost around $500, but paying guests could rub elbows with the President-Elect. These dinners--along with concerts, galas, and fireworks displays in front of the Lincoln Memorial-- were highlights of four days of inauguration festivities which cost an estimated $8-11 million to finance. Reagan's first inauguration took place on January 20, 1981.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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March 3, 2021 10:30 AM EST

Wilton, CT, US

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$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000