I’ll never forget the day, almost two decades ago, when I visited a local auction house and found an irregular set of antique white scalloped Haviland china, painted with gold rims. The set included approximately 8 place settings, along with a few serving dishes. Next to it was a stack of a dozen newer, less ornate Haviland plates, with a patterned gold band. I placed my bids and went on to my next appointment. All afternoon, I regretted not bidding higher. When I finally had a chance to call the auction house, I was thrilled to learn that I had “won” both lots. I felt I was “set” for life!!
Later in life, after I was married, I learned that someone in my husbands’ family had loved this white Haviland pattern also. I was fortunate enough to inherit a larger set of this Haviland pattern, minus the painted gold border. The best part of this addition was all of the lovely platters and the elegant tureens, shown in the photos above and below.
Haviland is made in Limoge, France. Limoge is one of the few places in the world where there is the natural clay “kaolin”, which produces this delicate, almost translucent, white porcelain. I love the elegant simplicity of this pattern, the pieces complement, but never compete with the appearance of the food. I am always curious about the background of my particular pieces, it is evident that they have been well used and cared for over the years. This unknown history makes me cherish them even more. To learn the interesting history of this company click on Haviland.
It is traditional to register for brand new china and silver before being married. For those of you in this stage of life, if you “love the hunt”, and things with a little history, maybe think of going to auctions and flea markets, where you can find beautiful, elegant china settings, and silver as well, with a rich patina and at great prices. It’s just a notion, but how about saving the registration for fabulous new knives and fantastic pots and pans?
Over the years, I’ve continued to add to my collection of white and gold china, made by Haviland and other brands. Thoughtful friends have kept an eye out for pieces as well, what a treat it is, to receive an unusual, white and gold treasure as a gift. The other day, I visited a local “broccante” and was so happy to come across this supplemental package.
As much as I love the idea of serving a perfectly clear and satisfying consommé in these cups, how lovely to decorate the table with consommés filled with honeysuckles?
I couldn’t resist this intriguing little smokers set I found at an estate sale. The set became functional when I found matches that fit perfectly as refills into the “La Petite” boxes which fit these matchbox holders in a little grocery in the Galapagos Islands. It is always fun to have these set up outside with a selection of digestives and a blazing fire pit after a dinner party.
The gold tipped, rainbow cigarettes are called “NAT’S” (for natural tobacco — they are available at better smoke shops).