Our family was lucky enough to inherit the wedding china of my husband’s great grandparents, Charles Frederick Ehle and Gertrude Ethelyn Smith. Charles and Gertrude were married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 21 December 1904.
The china is from Theodore Haviland, Limoges and is marked as made for Gimbel Brothers in Milwaukee. The pattern is made of asters and blue ribbons with gold accents. After much research, I believe the pattern has the Schleiger number 142a. You can read about the history of Haviland China and see many of the patterns here.
The china feels light and fragile. When the tea cups are held to the light, they are almost translucent. In fact, held to the light, pale watermark type designs are visible. These items were hand painted at a factory in France – each one is slightly different.
My husband’s grandmother inherited the china set from her parents and had it in storage. In her later years, she was cleaning house and was about to take the china to the local donation center. Thankfully, my mother in law stopped her!
After grandmother passed away, the china went to my husband’s aunt who spent considerable time and money to add pieces to the set. Before Aunt Sara passed away, she gifted the china to us.
We use the china for every holiday gathering for my husband’s side of the family now. I have read that children don’t tend to value the keepsakes of past generations unless they can attach some sort of memory and meaning to the items. Our hope is that our children will remember this set of dishes made over a hundred years ago and want to keep this treasure in their families for generations to come.