What do you present, as appropriate commemorative gifts, to commemorate the newly inaugurated President and Vice President of the United States? In the case of President Trump and Vice President Pence, they were presented with custom crystal commemorative bowls designed by Lenox.
Five months prior to this year’s inauguration the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies approved the designs by Lenox.
Each bowl was hand-cut and etched by master glass cutter Peter O’Rourke who has been carving glassware and crystal for more than 40 years. Lenox, a 100-year-old company, has been providing the inaugural presidential gifts since the inauguration of George H. W. Bush in 1989.
In addition, Lenox has been present in the white House since Woodrow Wilson’s administration.
So, what makes a gift or award meaningful to the recipient? There are three take-aways from the Lenox story that apply to more earthly tributes that are equally important to the presenter.
First, consider the award material … crystal, metal and natural stone “trumps” plastic and resin, for example. Second, consider how the decoration can have enhanced artistry. The Lenox bowl for Trump features an illustration of the White House on one side and the Jefferson Memorial on the other. Pence’s bowl features an illustration of the US Capital one side and the Lincoln Memorial on the other.
Finally, the gift or award should have an appropriate value consistent with the achievement or honor. I’m guessing Lenox was paid about $25,000 for each inaugural bowl. In our experience, a similar meaningfulness can easily be achieved for $100-$300.
Respectful tribute for achievements or excellence is the artistic translation of heartfelt gratitude and respect.