Here are the Theodore Haviland dishes that were passed down to me from my mother. When I washed them today many memories flooded into my mind. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you about some of those fond thoughts.
When Mrs. Roy Gardner, my step grandmother’s best friend, passed away she willed this set of fine china to Mama. Mrs. Gardner’s husband was a railroader and worked with my grandfather for the Southern railroad. He slept during the day as he never knew when he would be called out to work. I’ve heard people say that when they were kids she would shew them out of her yard, and hatefully tell them to be quiet as they walked down the street. Many people in our small town thought Mrs. Gardner was a mean woman because of this. Needless to say they probably didn’t know that she was trying to keep her husband from being woke up. And at that young age they probably didn’t care if they woke up a working man.
I wish I knew how she got the dishes. Were they a gift from her husband or a birthday present from her parents? Who knows? No telling how old they are. That was a little history about the dishes.
I washed them today as they had really gotten dusty. I’m not sure that I have eaten out of them since I’ve had them. This task brought back memories of Mrs. Gardner and my step grandmother who were best friends. I wondered if Mrs. Gardner had served my grandparents from these dishes. But the special memories it brought back were the home cooked meals Mama served in these dishes.
Mama showed these dishes off in an antique china cabinet. She was proud of them and claimed they were valuable. That was before Ebay, and the way the majority of today’s society don’t really value old things anymore.
On special occasions Mama would serve delicious meals in these antique dishes. Lots of labor and love went into those meals. After Daddy died Mama struggled financially. I’m sure she sacrificed to pay for those Sunday evening meals she served her family. She cooked every Sunday evening for as long as she was able. She fed her mother, sisters, brothers in law, kids, grandkids, pastors, and lots of friends at various times. Whether it was turkey and her delicious dressing or roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy, I really didn’t appreciate what she did until after she was gone.
I didn’t really think the dishes were anything special back then either. But, now things have changed. These dishes mean as much to me now as they did to her way back then. I have them displayed in my kitchen china cabinet. I kind of feel guilty that I don’t cook Sunday meals for my family. The grandkids have asked me when I’m going to use the “fancy” dishes. Maybe I can get my act together and start cooking them those special meals on Sundays. Lots of commarderie and memories could be made all because of Mama’s dishes.
Hope you enjoyed my little story about Mama’s dishes, and how special they are to me.
If any of you know anything about the monetary value of china, I’ve listed how many I have and the numbers stamped on the back of the china pieces. Not that I would sell them, but I would like to know if they are of any quality that an antique dealer would be interested in. Thanks for reading.
Theodore Haviland, New York, and Made in America is stamped on the back.
Here are the number of items I have and the numbers stamped on the back:
6 plates #17,#20Q, #12,#65, #21, #51
8 salad plates #96(4), #64, #2, #94, no number
7 cups #80(nik on rim), #55, #78, #8, #52, #40
7 saucers #10, #33, #96, #5, #2, #33,#59
7 small desert bowls #2, A1(4), #94, unreadable
meat platter #67
2 vegetable bowls #67(2)
sugar bowl#48, lid #11