The best way to identify a Haviland Limoges pattern is to consult a Haviland Limoges china expert for assistance, according to the Haviland Collectors International Foundation. The Haviland Collectors International Foundation provides a resource for individuals to request assistance in identifying Haviland Limoges patterns on its official website. Alternatively, you can attempt to identify your Haviland Limoges pattern yourself using Haviland Limoges databases, such as Haviland Online, or the Schleiger number book series.
When Haviland Limoges china was in production during the 19th century, the patterns were not identified or catalogued. The number of Haviland Limoges patterns and variations produced is estimated to be in the tens of thousands. The exact number of Haviland Limoges patterns in existence is a matter of debate, ranging from 20,000 patterns to as many as 60,000. For these reasons, Haviland Limoges patterns are notoriously difficult to identify, and only 4,000 to 6,000 have been positively catalogued in the Schleiger number book series.
The "Schleiger number" term originates from the Schleiger family's efforts to identify and catalogue the enormous number of Haviland Limoges patterns in existence. Their efforts, a series of seven books published between 1950 and 1991, are now held as the standard in the Haviland Limoges community.