An American, David Haviland, was an importer of French and English porcelains during the early to mid-1800's. In 1849 he moved his family to Limoges, France, to begin his own porcelain manufacturing and decorating factory and as a result, Haviland China, was born. Upon his death in 1879, his two sons split the company. Charles formed Haviland & Co., while Theodore formed Theodore Haviland. Charles Haviland produced this oyster tureen.
The second course, soup or stew was an important part of dinner in a fine Victorian home. There were tureens for oyster stew, clam chowder and regular soups. This beautiful, as well as scarce, oyster tureen is the Henri II, Schleiger #10 Blank, circa 1880. The white blank was factory decorated with heavy gold enamel, which includes the oyster shell and trailing seaweed finial on the cover, impressive sculptured handles with additional trailing seaweed and wide band surrounding the raised base. The tureen measures 11 1/2" across the handles, 8 3/4" across the bowl and 7" in height to the top of the finial. The base is stamped in green, with Mark F, "H & Co, underlined, over L", circa 1876-1889. The base and cover is stamped in red "Haviland & Co - Pour - T.M.James & Sons - Kansas City, Mo". The T.M.James store was located at 1022 Walnut, Kansas City, Mo. Founded by Thomas James Martin, uncle of Frank & Jesse James, he moved from Kentucky, to what was then known as Westport Landing, in 1854. The store was known for it's fine china and carried most of the noted labels of the period. There are no cracks, chips, repairs or gold wear; looks at though it was never used. Gorgeous.