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On Friday morning during the traditional welcoming to the White House of the incoming president and first lady by the outgoing president and first lady before the inauguration, Melania Trump presented Michelle Obama with a gift from Tiffany & Co. in the company’s signature robin’s-egg-blue box and white satin ribbon.
In a statement, Tiffany & Co. notes, “The White House has been a patron of the House of Tiffany & Co. since Abraham Lincoln.” The brand doesn’t know what’s inside the box.
Tiffany & Co. has a storied role in American history: President Lincoln turned to the brand for a gift for his wife on the day of his inauguration in 1861; the company created ceremonial swords during the Civil War; then, during the 1880s, it was called on to redesign the Great Seal of the United States that still appears on American currency. In more recent times, President Lyndon B. Johnson and first lady Lady Bird Johnson commissioned Tiffany to design their official White House china.
Mrs. Trump’s choice of Tiffany & Co. for a gift to the Obamas is an interesting one, given the recent controversy surrounding the Tiffany & Co. flagship store and Trump Tower in New York City. The famed jeweler said earlier this week that it attributed the decline in U.S. sales during the holiday shopping season to Trump’s election. The brand said that overall U.S. sales were significantly affected by the 14 percent decline in sales at the flagship store, adjacent to Trump Tower, due to increased security following Trump’s election in November.
In mid-December, the brand unveiled monogrammed, branded covers for the police barricades set up on parts of Fifth Avenue around Trump Tower as part of the post-election security protocol for Trump.