Mildred Mottahedeh

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Mildred Root Mottahedeh (August 7, 1908 – February 17, 2000) founded Mottahedeh & Company, a prominent designer and supplier of luxury porcelain made in Italy and Portugal for the U.S. market, based on historical models or direct replicas, that were sold in part through Tiffany & Co. and other luxury retailers, and museum gift shops. Her large personal collection of Chinese export porcelain for the European market, formed together with her Iranian husband, Rafi Y. Mottahedeh, who died in 1978, was catalogued by David Howard in China For The West (2 vols., 1989).[1] Mottahedeh porcelain table services were purchased for the White House, three Presidential Inaugurations, and the State Department's reception suite.[2] A well-known and iconic service is the Mottahedeh "Tobacco Leaf" pattern, based on 18th-century Chinese export porcelains for the Portuguese market, which employs 27 underglaze and enamel colors and gilding.

She gave nearly all her considerable wealth to establish charities such as the Mottahedeh Development Services, building over ten schools in Uganda, among other endeavors.

Mottahedeh was strongly committed to her religion, the Bahá'í Faith; she was a long-serving member of the International Bahá'í Council and representative of the Bahá'í Community to the United Nations.

Mildred Mottahedeh's son, Roy Mottahedeh, a historian of the medieval Near East and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, teaches at Harvard University.


  1. ^ New York Times, "The Porcelain Art Of Mottahedeh Knows No Age" April 6, 1989 ([ on-line]).
  2. ^ "Mildred Root Mottahedeh, 91, Collector of Chinese Porcelain". New York Times Obituary. February 23, 2000. Retrieved 2010-08-26.