There is nothing quite like Antique Haviland Limoges China with its delicate nature and charming floral patterns. There are hundreds of patterns most with many variations of color or blank which makes identifying the pattern quite difficult.
Often times the patterns are so similar and on the same blank they appear to be the same. Look closely at the two cups and saucers pictured.
Arlene Schleiger wrote 5 books identifying many of the Antique Haviland Limoges Patterns. Her work has been continued by her daughter Dona Schleiger who wrote the sixth book in the series.
Arlene states in the forward of the first book - Two Hundred Patterns of Haviland China Book I - published in 1950 -
“For many years I have been specializing in Haviland China. Hence I could see the need for pattern identification.....
First, I made the following list of problems which I knew were involved;
1. The same patterns appear on different blanks. (A blank is the white china form before decoration is applied.) The same pattern appears with and without gold edge.
2. The same pattern appears with the same flowers but in different colors.
3. The flower arrangements vary. Seldom will two plates of the same pattern be exactly alike.
4. In many patterns the flowers are hard to identify. Most of them are pink. Which ones are really roses, wild roses, apple blossoms, etc.?
5. Rarely is a pattern name stamped on a piece. Only occasionally is a number stamped and then usually only on a serving dish.
6. How shall I cover the different Haviland Companies?"
The problems Ms. Schleiger encountered as she began her Haviland Pattern Identification more than a half century ago are the same problems one encounters today as a collector or as one who inherited family china.
Arlene Schleiger used saucers to identify the Antique Haviland Patterns and in the forward to Book V she states that her collection of saucers numbered over 4000 - meaning over 4000 different Antique Haviland Pattern variations!
The Schleiger books have recently been available on Ebay as the family has been liquidating the remaining stock. This is a rare opportunity to own a set of these usually very difficult to find books.
As I began to try to identify the pattern of my first set of Antique Haviland Limoges China my search led me to Dona Schleiger. Her request was I send her a saucer for identification. Soon after - I purchased my set of the original 5 books.
Arlene Schleigher has left us an invaluable resource for identifying Haviland China. However, since her books provide only black and white sketches of the patterns, identifying Haviland China Patterns still presents quite a challenge.
I will continue this discussion in further Blogs - taking you through the process I follow in Haviland Pattern Identification.
A large collection of Antique Haviland Limoges China is always available at Holly Lane Antiques.
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