These beautifully hand painted oyster plates are part of the Haviland collection in the Replacements museum. The backstamp of each piece indicates that these plates were produced sometime between 1876 and 1880. One of the most interesting china manufacturers carried by Replacements is Haviland. This French firm opened in 1855 in the town of Limoges, France. Limoges, a city 200 miles southeast of Paris, is world renowned for its production of fine porcelain. Kaolin, a cream-colored clay capable of creating superior quality porcelain, was discovered in the region of Limoges in 1770.
These plates are especially endearing to the Haviland collector because they were produced during one of the most turbulent times in Haviland’s history. The trouble began in 1879 with the passing of David Haviland, founder of Haviland and Co. Control of Haviland and Co. was bequeathed to his two sons Theodore and Charles, who were rivals. Citing creative differences, Theodore and Charles dissolved their joint ownership of Haviland and Co. Charles retained part of the original Haviland and Co. and Theodore went on to open Theodore Haviland, Limoges. The backstamps on these oyster plates indicate that they were produced as part of Charles Haviland’s company, “Haviland and Co.”
Another interesting feature of these plates is the stamp that appears above the Haviland trademark. This green stamp indicates that these plates were made for the Chicago department store, Burley and Tyrrell. Burley and Tyrrell carried an array of fine china, crystal, and silver patterns. One of the marketing ploys used by Haviland and Co. was to print the name of the retailer on the china. For over 100 years, the Haviland Company has produced some of the finest china in the world and continues this tradition of excellence today. If you are interested in learning more about the history of Haviland, please click here. If you would like to see other Haviland patterns that feature oyster plates, consider Schleiger #55G, Schleiger #81A, or Schleiger #17.