The Robert Haviland & C. Parlon factory produces dinnerware service for not only the French embassies around the world, but has also graced the tables of the King of Morocco, the Shah of Persia, the Maharajah of Baroda and the Sultan of Brunei. Today, the porcelain Robert Haviland & C. Parlon is a member of the Comite Colbert which includes the most prestigious French factories of luxury goods.
Robert Haviland was born into a family of landowners living near the city of New York on November 21, 1803. By the year 1830 his father had become interested in fine China and he sent the young man to France in 1839 to investigate sources of supply.
In 1842 Robert’s brother, David, founded a china decorating workshop in Limoges. In 1858, David’s son married the granddaughter of a Limoges china maker who had been producing china since the 1700’s. In year’s following, the Haviland family bought-out this family’s china making business and began signing their own name to the porcelain.
In 1924, a Haviland grandson founded his own china factory in Limoges, and this factory sill exists today. Initially the grandson’s name was signed to the china, however in subsequent years changed it to Robert Haviland and added C. Parlon in recognition of an association with Camille Parlon.
1980 was the year of the patrimony, Mrs. And Mr. Van der Kemp, Chief Curator of the Versailles Museum had been requested by the Ministry of Fine Arts to restore the Giverny house and garden in which the painter Claude Money had lived. This was a unique opportunity for recreating the setting in which one of the masters of the Impressionist School had spent his life.
Mrs. Van der Kemp found in the loft of Giverny a porcelain table set made in Limoges, the colors of which were exactly those of the artist’s room. The bold idea of luminous yellow near a brilliant blue could only be the product of the painter’s imagination and palette. The factory Robert Haviland and C. Parlon undertook the necessary research to make again certain parts the moulds of which could not be found, so as to recreate with precision Claude Monte’s table set. This pattern which met with tremendous success contained at one time over 200,000 pieces and was distributed by a few professionals of quality all over the world. For a time Tiffany held the exclusivity for distribution in the United States.
The Matignon pattern had been especially created for the Hotel Matignon under the request of Mrs. Bernadette Chirac according to a drawing of the Museum of Sevres. This pattern combined the classicism of its drawing of underlined gold foliage with the gardens of the famous residence.
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