Limoges, France, is where Haviland Limoges porcelain was manufactured in 1842. The name Haviland was taken from David Haviland, the founder of Haviland Porcelain Factory. Antique Haviland Limoges is fine porcelain with exquisite floral designs. The porcelain is uniquely beautiful, due to the white kaolin clay used from the Limoges area. Pieces are marked, and sometimes signed by the artist that hand-painted each piece. The front near the design is signed with the artist's signature, and the company stamp is on the back.
Things you need
Go to antique malls. Sometimes antique dealers have so much in their stores that it's hard for them to notice everything. Make sure you are familiar with the porcelain and what it looks like before searching for it, because reproductions do exist. Make several trips back to the mall. Dealers are always getting new merchandise. Look for a proper mark. Use a magnifying glass to examine the mark. Become familiar with the company markings by studying guidebooks with pictures.
Don't pass up a thrift or charity shop, thinking there are no treasures. Sometimes the least likely place to find quality Haviland Limoges is at a second-hand store. Look on shelves where common plates or dinnerware is stacked. Often, the miscellaneous piece of Haviland Limoges porcelain will be put in with other, cheaper china. Haviland Limoges cups and saucers may be lumped in with the average tea cups and saucers as well. Scan the entire shop while there. People often wander around thrift or charity shops with items, then change their minds about purchasing, and place the item on the side.
Go to garage and estate sales. Look in the local newspaper for sales specifically geared to antiques or Haviland Limoges. Try estate sales that are professionally run. There is often more quality porcelain under one roof. Don't pass up garage sales. People want to get rid of their items, and what may have belonged to a family member may not mean anything to the seller, and can be purchased for a bargain.
Search online for specific auctions. Type into the search engine at the auction site the words "Haviland Limoges." A complete list of items being auctioned should crop up. Make sure the seller lists all flaws, and that if purchased, your item will be well wrapped and protected upon shipment.
Shop online at speciality dealer websites that feature Haviland Limoges. There are businesses online that have distinct patterns, or hard-to-find replacement pieces. Ask about a particular pattern or item, and find out about return policies. Don't bother asking about how an item will be packed upon shipment. These types of businesses are professional and will generally ship delicate porcelain in secure packaging.
Things you need
- Magnifying glass
- Internet connection