While most services designed for use in the White House have tended towards understated decoration, the one commissioned in 1879 by First Lady Lucy Hayes was anything but plain. Artist Theodore Davis created more than 130 designs depicting the America's natural glories. The flora and fauna (often food-related, of course) were so beautifully conceived and rendered, upon seeing them Mrs. Hayes proclaimed "One almost feels as if such Ceramic art should be used for no other purpose except to gratify the eye."This plate's hand-painted lobster is incredibly lifelike, as are the two gilded claws that serve as its feet. Haviland later reissued a small run of the Hayes service for sale.