Haviland Co. Porcelain
Haviland Co Porcelain is an American porcelain manufacturer.
Brief History and Description
David Haviland, an American entrepreneur, set up the first, state of the art porcelain factory, Haviland and Company, in Limoges, France in 1855. He used traditional American and English designs, which soon gained the respect of the French. Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, Haviland and Company consolidated their china and ceramic empire.
While David’s elder son, Charles was appointed to manage the Limoges facility, David’s other son, Theodore, moved to New York to manage the marketing of Haviland products. In June 1880, the entire White House china was replaced with a new set by Havilands. A detailed book on the White House Haviland China can be found archived at the Smithsonian Institute.
David Haviland died in 1879 and Haviland and Company was dissolved in 1891. Charles and Theodore went separate ways. While Charles retained ownership of Haviland and Company, Theodore set up a new company, Theodore Haviland, Limoges. Charles passed away in 1921 and fires destroyed the Haviland and Company’s factory and warehouses in 1929.
After Theodore’s death in 1919, William, son of Theodore took charge of Theodore Haviland, Limoges. In 1941, Theodore Haviland, Limoges, and Haviland & Company once again merged as one. The company shifted most of its production facilities to Pennsylvania and a new factory was opened in 1942. Between 1942 and 1957, most of Haviland’s popular designs were made in the United States. By 1972, the Havilands retired from the management of their family business. In 1988, the Havilands Company was acquired by Dominique de Coster, who has since then strengthened the company.
Guide for Collectors
The Haviland brand still remains linked to fine French and American dinnerware, and collectors consider the brand very valuable. Collectors should note that Haviland’s earlier designs were multicolored floral patterns painted on blanks, that were delicately handcrafted. Among their various patterns, the most popular one was Ranson which was developed in 1870 and was a runaway sales success.
The Havilands were also great promoters of art and artists. They invited artists such as the Damousse brothers and Monet to do floral designs on blanks. These impressionist pieces are considered extremely valuable.
At the turn of the century, both Haviland and Company and Theodore Haviland, Limoges were bitterly struggling to take control over the market. Theodore marketed his china aggressively and those retailers who placed large orders had their names printed on the back of the pieces. Such patterns included Clinton, Apple Blossom, Varenne, and Rosalinde.
One of Haviland's greatest collectors, Arlene Schleiger and her son Richard, have come up with a four-volume Haviland china identification guide. This has made Haviland patterns easy to identify as most of the Haviland patterns have been given a name and number. For example the most popular design, Ranson, is categorized as Schleiger Number One. It is believed that there are over sixty thousand patterns and designs that have been produced by Havilands.
Notable Auction Sales
Twenty Theodore Haviland, Limoges, plates made for Empress Elizabeth of Russia were auctioned off for a premium price of £10,000. The plates were estimated to go for a price between £600 and £800, but instead went for a price that was more than ten times their estimate. They were auctioned at Christie’s, London on 21st November 2007.
Four soup plates from the Haviland Presidential Collection were auctioned off for a premium price of $19,200 at Christie’s, New York on 20th January 2006. The plates were estimated to go for between $5,000 and $7,000, but instead went for a price nearly three times their estimate. The Haviland Presidential Collection was made exclusively for Rutherford B. Hayes, who was U.S. President from 1877 to 1881.
Two gold-rimmed and scalloped edge fish plates from the Haviland Presidential Collection were auctioned off for a premium price of $12,000 (over twice their estimated value) at Christie’s, New York on 20th January 2006.
A set of Theodore Haviland, Limoges, porcelain plates, that comprised of twelve Theodore Haviland plates with gilt swag and green leaf border, twelve Haviland plates with teal and gilt tooled border and twelve Porcelain Limousine plates with tooled gilt rim was auctioned off for a premium price of $705 at the SoMa Estate Auction at Bonhams, San Francisco on 25th September 2005.