Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Stark Haviland China

For my entire life, the holiday or special event table was set with the Haviland china and the Towle Cascade sterling silverware. These two exquisite examples of china and silverware belonged to my maternal grandmother and were passed along to her only child and daughter, my mother. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to guess who has them today ;-)

Perhaps pieces and parts of the two sets were wedding gifts given to my maternal grandparents when they married in 1914. I don't think that they belonged to my maternal great grandparents. When my mother received the Haviland, the set was pretty much as it was sold. Eight place settings and numerous serving pieces.

Over the years plates were chipped and entire serving pieces were destroyed. I seem to remember my Mom telling me that one Christmas my brother's ex was helping with the dishes and one or two covered bowls were dropped on the floor.

That's one hardship with fine china.....easily broken and it all has to be hand washed!

I will confess that this would not be a pattern that I would choose if I was going to plunk down hundreds of dollars on china; however, for free, I love it. The added bonus is that I am the third generation to have it grace my holiday table.

I have added additional serving pieces, many which would not have been part of the original set and also built the place settings up from eight to twelve. Ebay and Replacements, Ltd., both on line sources, have been my shopping stops.

The china was marketed under the name Theodore Haviland Limoges, France. Originally this pattern was called La France; however, sometime in the 1930's the name was changed to Richmond. The ones marked La France are extremely difficult to find, so most of the pieces that I have purchased are Richmond.

The memories that the table settings brings back to the three Hughes kids (my brothers and I) is worth the effort of hand washing and drying them and now new memories are being built in the generation of my adult children. I only hope that there will be another generation to pass them along to in the future.

History of Haviland China

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser