Our Set of 5 GDA Limoges Antique Porcelain Handled Sauce Relish Dishes With Ornate Gold Design & Center Medallion boasts an ornate 3/4" wide decorative band of gilded flowers and urns which spans the circumference of the interior rim, and an elaborate 1-3/4" in diameter gilded floral and urn medallion which embellishes the centers of their bowls. Between the thin band of gold paint on the outer edge of the rim and the floral and urn rim decoration on the inside is a delicate, thin band of gold paint topped with a chain of gold beads. The addition of two handles aid in the stability of these shallow dishes which are intended for sauces, relishes and garnishes. Each of the handles are decorated with raised ribbons outlined in gold paint. These stunning berry bowls were made from the famous white, translucent Kaolin porcelain found in the Limoges, France region, and were produced by G.D.A. Limoges between 1885 and 1891, making these gorgeous dishes over 125 years old.
Measuring approximately 6-1/8" from the edge of one handle to the edge of the opposite handle, the bowl measures 4-3/4" in diameter and 3/4" deep. These gorgeous dishes are in wonderful antique condition. There are no knife marks or scratches to be found on the surface of the porcelain. There is minor gold paint loss to the rim and handles, but the gold medallions and the gold decorative band are in pristine condition. The owner of these dishes certainly loved and protected them. Please see the pictures we have provided to fully appreciate their elegant beauty and amazing condition. They are all marked in red G.D.A. LIMOGES with the wreath. Four are marked in green PORCELAINES A FEU G.D.A. LIMOGES. This literally means "China Has Fire" and refers to the high fire process which results in the differences and slight irregularities which authenticate individually crafted Limoges porcelain. Truly no two are alike. The dishes are additionally marked in red FABRIQUE POUR BURLEY & CO. CHICAGO. Burley & Co. were importers in Chicago, IL in business from 1885 to 1931.
E. Gerard, Dufraisseix & Morel purchased their company from Mr. Charles Field Haviland when he retired from active business in 1881. Many members of the Haviland family were heavily involved in porcelain manufacturing, and were important in the advancement of design. The name of the company changed again to E. Gerard, Dufraisseix & Cie., which was represented in the United States by Gerard, Dufraisseix & Abbot. The word France was added to their wares in 1891 when the McKinley Tariff Act went into effect. All goods imported into the United States after that date were required to be marked with the country of origin. All Limoges items lacking the word France were manufactured prior to 1891.
The distinctive shape and design of these dishes are compatible with many Limoges patterns, and could easily mix and match with other gilded sets. Other than a berry bowl, it is difficult to find a smaller antique Limoges dish as useful as these for setting a modern table.
BRIEF HISTORY: In 1840, David Haviland - who had a china shop in New York City - made his first trip to France to establish an alliance with a manufacturer who could create pieces of porcelain for the American trade. He eventually settled in Limoges, France to oversee production. This was near the source of the abundant kaolin mines, the special white clay unique to Limoges porcelain. He established his own company in 1853 to produce china specifically for the American market.
There were numerous china manufacturers in Limoges, but the Haviland Company was the first to have artists on site to do the decorating. After the Civil War, David sent his son, Théodore, to the U.S. to handle distribution and marketing. Production dramatically increased and another son, Charles Edward Haviland, took over management of the firm from his father. Théodore Haviland left the company to start his own in 1893 and was a very innovative marketer. Charles Edward Haviland's company went out of business in 1931. Because of the approaching hostilities in Europe, Théodore moved his company to the United States in 1936, where it operated until 1957. The patterns of both companies were gathered and bought in 1941 by William Haviland who retired in 1972.
Charles Field Haviland, the nephew of David Haviland, married into another porcelain family in 1859. When he retired in 1881, the company name was bought, and has been passed down through several firms - including G.D.A, Gerard, Dufraisseix & Abbot, the manufacturer's of the beautiful dishes in this listing - until the present day.