Roses on fine china dinnerware can seem a bit of a cliché, but not when you look at these plates! We have a beautifully detailed, 9 piece set of antique Haviland Limoges that features climbing roses of multi-hued pink with splashes of yellow. Ascending the left side of the plates, the delicately petaled flowers are supported by thorny branches. The vibrant, climbing roses on these plates turn the ho-hum rose motif on its head! As our photographs demonstrate, not only is the painted decoration vibrant and eye-catching, but the mold for these plates was quite detailed as well, with a lovely bas-relief scallop and filigree pattern adorning the rim of the plates, echoed by a pattern of fluted and molded detail on the inner verge. These plates are then finished with a lovely and generous gold brushed edge. They are just stunning! Measuring 8-1/2" in diameter, these plates are in near-mint condiiton, with no chips, cracks, crazing or discloration.
An additional mark on these plates - 'TM James & Sons' - which we find most interesting - indicates the retailer of these fine porcelain plates. Located in early Kansas City, Missouri, TM James & Sons was established by Thomas Martin James, who was none other than the uncle of the outlaw Jesse James! This mark dates the manufacture of these fine porcelain plates to the period 1894 - 1931.
Brief Haviland Limoges history: Haviland Limoges has an interesting history unique to America. This company was the brain child of David Haviland, an American importer of English porcelains. Impressed with the thinness and translucency of French porcelain, Haviland relocated from the United States to the Limoges region of France with the intention of opening a porcelain factory. By 1855, Haviland had established one of the world’s most advanced porcelain production plants. Traditional production methods in the Limoges region called for whiteware blanks to be produced in Limoges and then sent to the artist’s guilds of Paris and elsewhere in Europe to be decorated. Haviland and Co. developed a different business plan, and became the first of the Limoges china manufacturers to produce blank forms and then decorate these forms in the same location. This radicalized production innovation proved to be very successful, and within a few years, the small factory came to be respected throughout France. Another significant change that Haviland introduced was to depart from the opulent floral designs and heavy structure of French china on the grounds that it was too exaggerated and busy for the English or American lady’s table. By 1865, Haviland & Co. was producing china using traditional English and American shapes and designs; the earliest patterns consisted of understated multicolored floral designs that were painted on delicate handcrafted blanks. Years later, in 1872, David's son Charles Limoges opened the Auteuil Studio in Paris, which attracted many of the great artists of the day, including Manet, Monet, and the Damousse brothers. Known as the “French School", these artists greatly influenced Haviland’s floral designs. During this same period, American president Rutherford B. Hayes commissioned a set of presidential china from Haviland and Co. Near the end of the nineteenth century, after founder David Haviland's death, the once amicable members of the Haviland family had a significant falling out and commenced a bitter commercial competition against each other to control the porcelain market. Theodore Haviland's breakaway company emerged as the more successful of the two companies. In 1921, shortly after the end of World War I, Charles Haviland died. Then in 1926 and 1929, kiln fires destroyed a significant part of the Haviland and Co. factory and several storage warehouses. Under the financial burden of the 1929 stock market crash, Haviland and Co. was unable to rebuild its facilities and the company closed its doors in 1931.
We love providing these brief histories to our clients because we believe that a little bit of the past continues on, unforgotten, with those items from the past that we acquire and treasure. Bring this lovely bit of American history and relic of American ingenuity into your home!
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