Helen Boehm, the well known porcelain sculptor, died last week. She was 89.
Dubbed the “Princess of Porcelain,” her sculptures can be found in the estates and palaces of foreign dignitaries and heads of state, and have been the mainstay of Presidential gift giving since Dwight Eisenhower. During President Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972, he presented PRC Chairman Mao Ze Dong with a pair of her life size swans (pictured above).

More from the New York Times:

Helen Boehm, a self-made businesswoman known as the Princess of Porcelain for her company’s elaborate sculptures, which have graced the coffee tables of royalty and heads of state for six decades, died on Monday at her home in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was 89.

Mrs. Boehm had been ill with cancer and Parkinson’s disease for some time, said Sharon Lee Parker, the current president and chief executive of Boehm Porcelain, the Trenton-based company Mrs. Boehm helped found and indefatigably promoted.

With her husband, Edward, Mrs. Boehm (pronounced beam) founded the company, known early on as E. M. Boehm Studios, in 1950. At the time, neither knew a thing about porcelain. He was a veterinary assistant trained in animal husbandry; she was an optician.

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