Seldom does the debut of an antiques publication introduce a completely new area of collecting, but thats exactly what this book does. The authors turn the world of mid-nineteenth-century French porcelain upside-down through their interpretation of two recently discovered factory books from the earliest years of the Haviland porcelain works at Limoges. Shape drawings from a mysterious volume at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, complemented by paintings and prints from a heretofore unknown design catalog preserved in the Haviland family, reveal the shattering truth that many pieces of anonymous Old Paris in collections today are actually Limoges porcelains designed, decorated, and marketed by American entrepreneur David Haviland during his first two decades in France. Anticipated on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the most significant contributions of original scholarship on French ceramics in a generation, this study combines carefully researched text with 450 illustrations, including full-color photographs of previously unidentifiable porcelains and many unpublished documents from archives in France and America. A beautiful volume, it is the indispensable reference for curators, scholars, dealers, and aficionados of French ceramics. Readers will find their views of nineteenth-century porcelains enhanced and transformed.
The husband and wife team of Robert Doares and Barbara Wood, both employed by the Historic Williamsburg Foundation, have discovered the mutual joys of Haviland and research. They reside in Williamsburg, Virginia.