The Orleans and Ravenna shapes are very similar. The general description for the flatware is the same: round scalloped shapes with heavily embossed floral rims and fluted verges. However, there are two major differences:
1. Orleans has small flur-de-lis around the rim. This results in little "bumps" in the outline. See red arrows below.
For more on Ravenna, see this page.
2. Orleans has fewer and wider flutes at the verge compared to Ravenna's very narrow flutes. See blue arrow for Ravenna's flutes on the verge.
On November 30, 1931, J. M. Wells orders a "modeled plate for Woolworth's". By December 14th, the new modeled plate was produced. Wells took samples of the new plate, called Orleans, along with sketches of teacups to New York. Two days later on the 16th, Rhead notes: JMW phoned from NY that Frantz [buyer for Woolworth's] was interested in modeled plate.
On January 18, 1932, new items were ordered to be added to Orleans: teacups, 8" baker, 36s bowl, platter, fruit cup, nappies, oatmeal bowl,
various sizes of plates, 8" deep plate, creamer, open sugar, and coupe soup.
In February 1932, most of the Orleans pieces were being modeled. More pieces were to be added in March and April: the 9" oval baker and a pickle dish.
The assortment was eventually expanded to include the 10" baker, 9" patter, fruit cup, 10" nappy, and the 36s jug. Orleans was made with decals for Woolworth's and continued with very little change until March 1936 when the sugar base was remodeled to accept a lid and the covered casserole was finally added. On June 8, 1936, samples of Orleans were ordered in the art glazes. This is the only date Rhead gives for Orleans in art glazes, and they must have been accepted since the shape has been found in at least three colors; rose, rust, and green. It was given the special name and backstamp: "Antique Orleans."
Besides decals and art glazes, Orleans was made with platinum bands and underglaze treatments. It was phased out by HLC in the 1940s.
Some pieces have been found with backstamps dating as late as 1946. While it was produced for almost fifteen years, examples are not easily found today.
Plates, platters, and small bowls may be common, but the hollowware - sugar, creamer, sauceboat, casserole and jug are rather difficult to find.
Expect to find Orleans with a general HLC backstamp except for those pieces in art glazes which will be marked with Antique Orleans or simply Antique.