Here's one bird who knows how to strut his stuff. You can see why Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the national bird. This tom's got attitude; even the sun rays in the background give him a kind of nobility. He's a rock star of the poultry world.
This porcelain platter was made for President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 by Haviland & Company, in Limoges, France. In addition to the finely rendered painting and details, I like the turned-up edges that bend like page corners and reveal gold and white painted on the other side.
The exhibition, Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House is filled with such goodies. If you're planning to be in DC for the holidays, the exhibition lets you get a behind-the-scenes look at how objects in the White House (the Renwick's neighbors, incidentally) arrived and were cared for. Add it to your DC to-do list! The exhibition remains on view through May 6, 2012.