The history of the Johann Haviland Company dates back to 1855, when David Haviland opened the Haviland and Co. porcelain factory in Limoges, France. Having left New York to open one of the most advanced china producing facilities in Europe, David Haviland and Haviland and Co. were soon known throughout the world. In 1891, Haviland and Co. split into two separate companies, Theodore Haviland and Haviland and Co. The Theodore Haviland Co. was lead by David Haviland’s second son, Theodore while Haviland and Co. was lead by David's oldest son, Charles. The two firms competed fiercely for a share of the tableware market.
In 1907, Charles’ oldest son, Jean Haviland, chose to leave his father’s firm and move to Germany. He legally changed his name to John and began building a china factory in Waldershof. Unlike Theodore Haviland, Limoges, and Haviland and Co., John’s factory produced casual china and hotelware, using the “Johann Haviland” backstamp. The new company grew rapidly. Within a few years, John Haviland was successfully marketing his china throughout Germany and the United States.
In 1914, the first shots of World War One were fired when Germany invaded Belgium. Germany intended to overwhelm Belgium and ulitimately conquer France. Very little is known about activity at Johann Haviland’s firm during the First World War but over the next four years Germany’s people suffered through great food and production shortages. Industrial production in Germany declined by 57% in the first two years of the war. Much of Germany's coal was allocated to the war effort, leaving Germany’s people and industries with a much smaller primary source of fuel. Because of this, it is likely that Johann Haviland’s dinnerware production was slowed or halted during the years of the First World War.
The Great War ended with the signing of the October Armistice and the Versailles Treaty. The victorious allies imposed harsh terms of surrender on Germany for having initiated the First World War. Germany was forced to pay the Allied powers $26.35 billion dollars in war reparations. With Germany deeply in debt and inflation on the rise, many German firms were forced to close or sell their assets to foreign interests. In 1924, the Johann Haviland firm was sold to Richard Ginori Porcelain of Italy.
Over the next few years, Richard Ginori Porcelain took only a passing interest in its Johann Haviland acquisition. Ultimately, Johann Haviland’s assets were returned to Germany when the factory was purchased by Rosenthal. Unfortunately, after Rosenthal purchased Johann Haviland, the company was unable to ramp up to full production due to the onset of another war. The Second World War began in 1939 when Germany's Adolf Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. Again, Germany's people and resources were diverted to the war effort.
Following the Second World War, Rosenthal began to heavily market Johann Haviland china in the United States. Many of the patterns produced during the second half of the century were sold or given away as premiums with groceries. Many families acquired their Haviland China pattern by acquiring one piece at a time, when the family’s grocery shopping was done. The people of the United States favored Johann Haviland’s designs because they resembled the elegant Limoges designs for which the Haviland name became popular. To meet the demand for these designs, the Haviland Waldershof factory remained open through the late 1980’s.
Replacements, Ltd. carries many of Johann Haviland’s most sought-after patterns, including Blue Garland , Forever Spring, and Moss Rose . Click here if you would like to see a complete list of the patterns that Replacements, Ltd. carries by this unique company!