His Majesty Fahd Ibn Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia emerged as the champion presidential gift giver last year, according to the official gift accounting released yesterday by the State Department.
The Saudi prince presented President and Mrs. Reagan with about $45,690 in gifts among the more than $200,000 worth presented to the chief executive and first lady during the year. The official gift list, all 120 pages of it, was to be printed today in the Federal Register. Every year, all public officials are required to list gifts over a minimum amount and their value in the Register. The Reagans turn over most gifts to the National Archives except those on official display in the White House. State Department gifts go to the General Services Administration.
Among the jewels sent last year to Nancy Reagan were: a $5,000 necklace of glass beads, dating from 63 B.C. to 330 A.D., from Israel. Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Queen Sirikit of Thailand presented Nancy Reagan with two $3,250 gold and diamond beetle pins, described as made from real beetles. They were left with the Archives. Next to that Raisa Gorbachev's gift of a $100 necklace of pressed amber beads and a bracelet, also stored in the Archives, seems rather subdued.
The most expensive gifts to the Reagans come during King Fahd's state visit Feb. 11-13. King Fahd on Feb. 11 gave to Nancy Reagan:
A gold minaudiere (a rigid box used as an evening bag), with NR spelled out in diamond chips with a clasp of 30 graduated diamonds, made by Boucheron of France. It was contained in a beige suede box with her initials and valued at $20,000 and placed with the Archives. In case the first lady lacked something to wear with the minaudiere, the Saudi king sent along a hand-embroidered sequined green silk "outfit" ornamented with gold threads and a matching fuschia shawl, both valued at $5,000. Both were sent to the Archives.
On the same day, King Fahd presented to the president a $12,500 enameled egg with gold interior, containing a gold clock with hinged panels. The Saudi seal and the U.S. presidential seal on the clock were surrounded by diamond chips with space for photographs. The gift was made by Asprey & Co., London. The art object is listed as on display in the White House.
King Fahd didn't put all his gold eggs and other delights into the Reagan basket. He also made gifts to Gahl Hodges, then the first lady's social secretary, of a $2,500 18-karat gold Longines Swiss watch. Hodges turned that one and a $2,895 watch from Jordan's King Hussein over to GSA. James S. Rosebush, then the first lady's chief of staff, also received a Jaeger-Lecoultre Swiss watch and a pair of gold cuff links, all valued at $1,950. That also went to GSA.
Vice President George Bush received a $4,000 malachite and gold box, a $1,800 gold and silver picture frame and a $1,200 silver and gold chalice from King Fahd. All are now used in the vice president's residence.
Many other foreign countries lavished material affection on the Reagans as well as on lesser mortals.
Thai Queen Sirikit gave the Reagans a $15,000 ivory elephant, overlaid with gold and set with rubies, sapphires and diamonds, from the Thai king's own collection. This was put on official display. Colombian President Belisario Betancur gave a $20,000 metal sculpture of a nude woman by the well-known artist Botero. The Reagans sent it to the Organization of American States Museum of Modern Latin American Art for display.
If the size was right, the Reagans could have appeared in a remarkable collection of gift clothing last year. Instead, the items were sent to the Archives. The single-most expensive was an $8,000 sari, 13 feet of a black chiffon with a real gold floral pattern, given by the wife of Pakistan President Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq.
Imelda Marcos, in her last hurrah, in October, sent two gowns estimated at $10,000 to Nancy Reagan,n, one a black velvet with a silver sequin and rhinestone phoenix, the other a red silk strapless dress with a rhinestone butterfly, made by J. Moreno of Manila. They were put in the Archives.
Chances are the Reagans appreciated most of the gifts labeled "perishable." Similar gifts to the Bushes were listed as "consumed." In this category were 12 two-ounce jars of caviar and three bottles of vodka, all from the U.S.S.R., valued at $750, the gift of Mikhail Gorbachev to Reagan at the Geneva summit.