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. Check your local library or order it here.

Q: I cannot find the Schleiger books. Can anyone help?

A: We can try to identify your pattern online. For directions go to our Pattern ID page.

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. Sometimes common names have been given to patterns by collectors and later writers.

Q: What is a good reference book on Haviland?

A: The basic book we recommend is Celebrating 150 Years of Haviland China. There are other good books that can be found on the Publications page.

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 at this website.

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 a search for Haviland 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 pattern identification.

Q: I have this beautiful painted plate with some initials on the reverse. Can you tell me who the artist is?

A: You probably have a hand-painted item. These are items that we cannot identify. 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, consequently, hand-painted items by hobbyists have little demand in the 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. One of the Haviland reference books can help you or check our Haviland Backmarks page.

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 sometimes 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.

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 in 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 porcelain is made. There were many china manufacturers in the area, and thus the word Limoges appears on many products. Haviland, one of those manufacturers, was actually a latecomer in the field.

Q: Aren’t there several different Havilands?

A: Yes. Our organization is primarily interested in china and pottery made by David and Charles Haviland (also known as H&Co., Haviland & Co.), Charles Field Haviland (CFH), and Théodore Haviland – firms that all had their origins in France.

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 the 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 2021 conference will be held from November 4 – November 7, 2021, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Palm Desert in Palm Desert, California. The hotel is less than a half hour from the Palm Springs International Airport. Come early and stay late. A great time will be had by all.