Mildred Mottahedeh

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Mildred R. Mottahedeh (August 7, 1908 - February 17, 2000) was one of the most important figures in the area of luxury goods in the twentieth century. During her lifetime she amassed the largest privately held collection of Chinese export porcelain in the world, a feat which was catalogued in the book China For The West by David Howard. Her company, Mottahedeh & Company, was the number-one maker of luxury porcelain in the U.S. market for many years, and her designs graced the tables of places such as the White House, three Presidential Inaugurations, and the State Department.[1]

While she amassed enormous wealth during her lifetime, including one of the largest estates in Connecticut during the 1950s and 1960s, she gave nearly all her wealth away by establishing charities such as the Mottahedeh Development Services, building over 10 schools in Uganda, and many other endeavors. Her company, while no longer owned by the Mottahedeh family, continues to make luxury porcelain. Today the company is owned by Wendy and Grant Kvalheim and partner Pamela Mondschein. Mrs. Kvalheim is the CEO and Design Director of the company. Mottahedeh & Company, Inc. holds licenses with many American museums and is the recognized leader in antique reproductions and adaptations in ceramics and metals.

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

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


  1. ^ "Mildred Root Mottahedeh, 91, Collector of Chinese Porcelain."