White House furniture

John in NOLA sent a note that reminded me that I’ve never mentioned that reproductions of White House furniture are available from New York First Company, The History Company, and others. You can buy a full-scale reproduction of the Resolute desk, a queen-size reproduction of the Lincoln Bed, and Kittinger chairs of the same models used in the Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room, and elsewhere (also available direct from Kittinger).

You can also get the desk directly from Victorian Replicas (US, I think), where it’s bargain-priced at 6 Gs instead of 12. Over at The President’s Desk (Canadian), you’ll pay more, but you can have it your way, in oak or mahogany, in three sizes, and with a variety of leather tops. And you can get matching credenzas and bookcases. Similar choices are available from Dominic Gerard (US, but made in Asia).

Rafi Furniture (Indonesia) seems to offers the Resolute and the Lincoln Bed (also queen-size) for far less than the others and claims to be highly accurate. Ryuki Furniture (Indonesia?) makes the desk also. The East Bay Trading Company offers one for a little more, probably imported from Rafi or Ryuki, altho they specify that it features a fold-down front for a keyboard and grommets for monitor wiring.

I’m curious as to whether any readers have ever bought one of these replicas.

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12 thoughts on “White House furniture

  1. Well *dang*! You learn something new every day – I thought Kittinger furniture company was out of business! Obviously not. That’s good to know! Maybe I can still get that wing chair..

    I’d get a Resolute desk from these folks except for three things: (1)It’s incredibly expensive. (2) It’s as big as a Buick and I have nowhere to put it. (3) It *weighs* as much as a Buick and it would make my house sink into the alluvial muck that my house is built on. Other than that…

  2. I have also, seen reproductions of the Bellange furniture for sale on Ebay. Hey, maybe we could each furnish our own White House Room.

  3. I have also, seen reproductions of the Bellange furniture for sale on Ebay. Hey, maybe we could each furnish our own White House Room.

  4. In looking at Derek’s collection of Red Room photos, I noticed the lyre card tables were apparently replaced during the Clinton Administration. I believe these tables were first brought into the Red Room during the Nixon Administration, as they appear in a photo of the Red Room in William R. Mitchell, Jr’s. book, Edward Vason Jones: Architect, Connoisseur, and Collector. The sixteenth edition of The White House guidebook
    shows a close up photo of one of the lyre card tables.

  5. Logan – that’s so cool about the Bellange chairs on Ebay! I’ll have to keep a lookout!

    Eric – I have two connections to that Edward Vason Jones book – (Edward Vason Jones was the Georgia architect who was responsible for refurbishing the Red, Blue and Green Rooms during the Nixon administration – and also many of the Reception Rooms at the State Department – and period rooms at the Metropolitan Museum in New York)- Bill Mitchell and I go WAY back – we used to ride bicycles all around Atlanta together in the 1980’s and had many friends in common – and Paul St. Martin (Martin/St. Martin Publishing, who published that book) is my best friend. Both of them will be *thrilled* to know that their book is out there being enjoyed!

    I never knew Edward Jones, who was from Albany, Georgia, but he is without doubt one of the very best classical architects who ever practiced in the United States – oh how I wish I had known him!

  6. Eric, I jusrt talked to Paul and he’s so excited that you have the Edward Vason Jones book (actually he’s excited that *anyone* has the EVJ book…)And would love to know how you found out about it. It is a beautiful book, isn’t it? All those beautiful and HUGE double page spread photos of the Green, Blue and Red Rooms? There wasn’t a large budget for advertising for the book. I just checked and unfortunately is is out of print and sold out, but there are still a couple of copies on Amazon and ABE Books – and I was utterly floored at what they’re asking for it!

  7. John, I believe, if I recall correctly, I learned of the book from a book review in Southern Accents magazine and ordered it directly from The University of Georgia Press. There’s a flyer still inside the book listing other architectural books by Mr. Mitchell.

    When you have the opportunity, please pass on to Mr. Mitchell and to Mr. St. Martin that I have enjoyed the book immensely since I first purchased it over ten years ago. It’s such a beautiful book – so much so that I have it prominently displayed in a book holder on one of the book shelves in my living room.

    Aside from my White House books, the EVJ book, along with Richard H. Jenrette’s book, Adventures With Old Houses, is one of my favorites. I never tire of looking at either book.

    PS. I have a copy of the July 1987 issue of The Magazine Antiques which features many photos of the incredibly beautiful rooms created by Mr. Jones and Mr. Conger in the State Department.

  8. Richard Jenrette (whom I’ve never met) underwrote a substantial portion of the Edward Vason Jones book – he was a big fan. Several of the designers and craftsman who worked with Jones worked with Jenrette in his various houses. On the Green Room page of this website there’s a picture of Edward Jones, Clement Conger, Pat Nixon and another friend of mine – the late David Byers, also of Atlanta, who designed most of the elaborate curtains in the White House, from that era – the ones in the Nixon Green, Blue and Red Rooms – all those curtains with the striped valences – and he did the ones in Jenrette’s houses to – until Jenrette figured out that he could do it himself and cut out the middleman!

    Thanks – I’ll pass that along to Paul and Bill Mitchell!

  9. John,
    I didn’t realize that most of the curtains from the Nixon period was designed by a Georgian. I really liked those of that era. thanks for that info.

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