The Hoover "Blue and Whites"

The Hoover blue and white porcelains

 

The Hoovers began their collection of porcelains while living in China at the turn of the 20th century. They favored the Chinese "blue and whites" from the K'ang Hsi period (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This period in porcelain manufacture was defined as producing the purest blue color, the finest quality of porcelain, the most refined shapes, and having the highest value overall.

The porcelains were manufactured in assembly-line fashion. Different workshops controlled different processes--one group of craftsmen was responsible for dragon motifs, for instance, excelling in that decoration only. Decorative motifs usually held symbolic meanings about man, nature, or religion, and the variety of shapes depicted different functions.

At any one time, the Hoovers may have owned from 225 to 400 pieces, displaying them in their homes from the Red House in London to The White House in Washington D.C. to the Waldorf Astoria suite in New York City. At Mr. Hoover's death, some of the pieces were sold and the rest were divided between their two sons, eventually to be sold or passed on to grandchildren.

Many porcelains that were originally part of the Hoover Collection were donated by the family to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Other porcelains seen in this museum collection are representative examples of the type collected by Herbert and Lou Hoover. These examples are also originals, however, and not reproductions.

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Two vases with dragons
Dragon Motif Porcelains - two of a pair featuring dragon motifs, baluster form Chinese porcelain vase; K'ang Hsi Period (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Donated to the Hoover Museum from Allan Hoover, son of Herbert and Lou Hoover.
--From the Collection of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, Iowa

 

   


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