Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I determine what pattern I have?
A: It is estimated that there are over 30,000 patterns or variations of patterns produced by the Haviland firms. About 11,000 of these have been identified and numbered in a series of catalogs by the Schleigers. There is also a newer ID book published by Replacements, Ltd. While listing the Schleiger numbers, they also designated an H to patterns that are not in the Schleiger catalogs. The book, Haviland A Pattern Identification Guide, is no longer available through HCIF. It is available at https://www.replacements.com
Q: I cannot find the Schleiger books. Can anyone help?
A: We can try to identify your dinnerware pattern online. Go to our Pattern ID Dinnerware page and follow the instructions.
Q: What is the name of my pattern?
A: Only a few hundred of the thousands of Haviland patterns produced were given names by the manufacturers. Common names have often been given to patterns by collectors, matchers, and authors.
Q: What is a good reference book on Haviland?
A: The basic book that we recommend is Celebrating 150 Years of Haviland China. There are other good books that can be found in our Publications pages. Membership in HCIF grants you access to our sizable library of valuable reference materials.
Q: Where can I find more extensive information about Haviland?
A: Our archives are at the University of Iowa Library. A list of articles can be found HERE. Unfortunately, nothing in the archives has been digitized. More recently-acquired archival documents are available to HCIF members HERE.
Q: How can I find how much my Haviland is worth?
A: There is no official price guide for Haviland. Price is determined by the rarity of the pattern and its popularity. Some very old unique pieces bring high prices, while complete sets that are very common will bring much less. There are several dozen patterns that are quite popular and in high demand. The major market for Haviland today is eBay. Do an eBay search for Haviland. Scroll down to Show only, then click Sold Items to get some idea of value. HCIF is legally unable to determine the value of your Haviland. We are not licensed appraisers, nor are we an intermediary for buyers and sellers. Our basic task for the public is dinnerware pattern and decorative object identification.
Q: I have this beautiful painted plate with some initials and possibly a date on the reverse. Can you tell me who the artist is?
A: You probably have a hand-painted item. The short answer is no. China painting began as a popular hobby over 100 years ago and still continues today. Retailers of Haviland sometimes had professional painters add designs or monograms. Sometimes the work was obviously done by amateurs. Most Haviland collectors are interested in specific factory-decorated patterns and porcelain artwork. Consequently, hand-painted items by hobbyists have little demand in our market.
Q: How can I tell how old my Haviland is?
A: It is difficult to be specific, but we do know of patterns that were made during certain eras. Many patterns were open stock and produced for dozens of years. One clue is the backmark, the names on the underside of the china. Different imprints were used in certain periods. Click HERE to be directed to our Haviland Backmarks pages. Just find your backmarks and our charts will tell you the range of years in which those marks was used.
Q: What do the marks on the underside of the china mean?
A: We refer to the marks on the underside of the china as backmarks. Backmarks give the name of the manufacturer and, if there are two manufacturer backmarks, the second indicates that the item was factory-decorated, as opposed to being hand-painted. There are many varieties of backmarks, and they are helpful in dating your china. Our website provides a Haviland Backmarks chart. Several of the common marks are shown below. For questions about backmarks that include retailer store names, Contact Us. In some cases there is a factory number which may be helpful in identification. It is usually in red script, and most often it is on the uudersides of the lids of sugar bowls and other covered serving dish lids.
Q: What is a blank?
A: We refer to the plain whiteware as blanks. They come in several dozen different shapes and sizes. To help with identification, blanks have been numbered using the Schleiger system.
Q: Is all Limoges china Haviland?
A: No. Limoges is the city in France near the deposits of kaolin (very white clay) from which Limoges porcelain was made. There were many china manufacturers in the area, and thus the word Limoges appears on many products. Haviland is one of those manufacturers, and, unlike most of the early Limoges porcelain manufacturers, still exists today. Haviland has been in business for 180 years.
Q: Aren’t there several different Havilands?
A: Yes. Our organization is primarily interested in china and pottery made by David and Charles Edward Haviland (also known as H&Co., Haviland & Co.), Théodore Haviland, Charles Field Haviland (CFH, CFH/GDM, Robert Haviland et C. Parlon), Frank Haviland and GDA (Gerard, Dufraisseix & Abbot – a Charles Field Haviland affiliate) – firms that all had their origins in France, unlike Johann Haviland, which had its origin in Bavaria, Germany..
Q: Is my Haviland dishwasher safe?
A: The high temperature at which the china was fired after the glaze was applied makes it durable for occasional automatic dish washing. However, it is not advisable to put china in the dishwasher if it has any gold on it.
Q: What can you tell me about my Johann Haviland china?
A: Except for very old pieces, this is lower quality china made by a relative of the Havilands in Bavaria, Germany. The company was sold after a short period of time, though the name was retained, and has been under various owners, currently the Rosenthal conglomerate. Frequently servicemen in Germany after WWII found it in PXs at a very low price, and, thinking they were getting real French Haviland, sent sets home. It was also used as grocery store premiums.
Q: When and where is the next Haviland Collectors International Foundation annual conference?
A: The 2023 conference will be held from June 14 – June 18, 2023, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago O’Hare Rosemont at 5500 North River Road in Rosemont, Illinois. Come early and stay late. A great time will be had by all. It always is.