Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there so many different kinds of Haviland?

Part of the answer lies in the simple fact that the Haviland family has been producing china dinnerware for nearly 150 years, and due to overwhelming demand, manufactured literally tens of thousands of patterns.  The reason there are different manufacturers associated with the Haviland name is basically because the Haviland’s were like any other family, and didn’t always get along.  All the different manufacturers, however, can ultimately be traced back to David Haviland who began the first porcelain factory at Limoges, France in 1841.  His sons and nephews carried on the fine tradition he had begun, though they often disagreed with one another as to how that was best accomplished.  This is why different factories were started, not just in France but in Germany, and eventually, the United States as well.  Competition between these business was sometimes fierce, and while there are certainly variations in quality, ultimately all of the products that came from these factories are worthy of the Haviland name.  A more extensive history of Haviland dinnerware can be found

What are “Schleiger” numbers?

Since most Haviland patterns do not have names, a naming scheme was needed for collectors to more easily locate the patterns they desired.  Schleiger numbers refer to a system established by Arlene Schleiger, who compiled over 800 patterns into a four volume book set.  The work of identifying all the patterns continues to this day.  Wherever pattern names given by the manufacturer were available, we provided these first, and if applicable, the Schleiger number second.

What is the difference between “Dresden” and “Dresden style?”

“Dresden” generally refers to china produced by one of the many decorating studios that began operating in the city with the same name, beginning in the mid 1800’s.  The style they employed was unique and innovative, referred to by art historians as “rococo revival.”  Many china manufacturers throughout Germany and the rest of Europe quickly imitated the style, and often used the term “Dresden” in the back stamp markings.  “Dresden style” refers to such pieces that were not produced in Dresden, but employed similar patterns.  A more complete history of Dresden and Dresden style can also be found on this website

What is the connection between the names “Meissen” and “Dresden?”

“Meissen” refers to the porcelain produced in the Meissen Royal Manufactory, beginning in 1710, and can usually be identified by a blue crossed-swords mark.  From its earliest years of production, however, Meissen dinnerware was sold and distributed in the nearby city of Dresden.  Because of this, many Europeans referred to Meissen porcelain as “Dresden,” andthis was the beginning of the confusion.  This confusion was complicated even further when over a hundred years later, decorating studios began opening in Dresden and producing pieces that attained renown in their own right.  In general, porcelain that was decorated in Dresden can be identified by the blue crown stamp.  More complete histories of Dresden and Meissen can be found on this website.