These were also an easy fit for the ostentatious grand amusements that were initiated and led by the frivolous spendthrift Queen Marie Antoinette, whose sophisticated tastes had been perfected within the walls of the Hofburg and Schönbrunn palaces in Vienna. The queen’s favorite everyday things were flowers, magnificent jewelry, haute couture, outrageous sculpted caged hair, and wafting floral perfume while sipping her beloved hot chocolate pots de crème.
Early on, the French were reclusive regarding exportation, and they did not embrace change too easily. In 1842, a chance encounter drove New York entrepreneur David Haviland to manufacture and market his namesake brand directly from France, employing talented local artisans. He understood the innate differences of cultural acceptance of style and design. Captivated by the French artistic approach, he realized it needed tweaking for the American market, so he invested in a factory that would create explicitly for the American well-to-do. To this day, his descendants still successfully lead Haviland & Co.
Bernardaud’s story began in 1863 when French industrialists created a new factory to meet growing world demand. A humble employee at the plant, Léonard Bernardaud was a standout and had a taste for leadership, creativity, and innovation. Little by little, he worked his way up the ranks until he was made partner. In 1900, Léonard bought the company and bestowed his family name.