Filed under: Decor
Haviland Limoges, a maker of fine porcelain is the winner for a Readers' Choice for best dishware.
The Haviland Limoges story began in 1842 when David Haviland, enthralled with the fine china coming from Limoges, France moved across the Atlantic to begin his own factory. Haviland was an importer working in New York. A customer brought in a broken tea cup looking for a match. Haviland's search for a match eventually led him to Limoges. The pure white kaolin clay found in the region produced a uniquely delicate eggshell porcelain. Not content to import the designs of others he set up his own operation. Unlike other dishware factories in the area Haviland China did not send its products to Paris for decoration. Instead Haviland set up a studio in his factory in order to create patterns that would appeal to American shoppers.
Along his sons Charles-Edward and Théodore, David Haviland grew the company and Haviland Limoges provided the state dining service for several American presidents including Abraham Lincoln, Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt. The work of Impressionist artists also influenced Haviland's floral designs which went on to become wildly popular in the United States.
Today the company also sells silver, crystal and giftware but remains famous for its dishes. It is estimated that there are as many as 60,000 Haviland china patterns. Haviland Limoges produces some older designs as well as coming out with new collections to appeal to both modern clients and traditionalists. For over a century Haviland china has remained a standard for elegant tables.