The European Decorative Arts Company carries an outstanding collection of objects made in rock crystals and other hardstones and examples of important makers such as Hermann Ratzersdorfer, Hermann Bohm, Charles Duron, Jean Valentin Morel.
From the time of their inception, these objects were meant to be cherished for the materials that were employed in their production and for the skilled manner in which they were crafted. The fact that these items, as fragile and vulnerable as they are, have survived in their present condition with minimal damage, is testament to how greatly they were valued over the years by their temporary custodians.
In-person viewing of our extensive collection can be arranged at our by-appointment-only showrooms.
For any questions regarding our offerings, please contact us at:
Marked HB, A (Austria, tray), Guaranty Assay Mark for the Former Austro-Hungarian Empire (used 1872-1922, on tray) and purity dog’s head mark for small articles (used 1872-1922, on ewer) Height of ewer 19.5 cm. • Tray 22 cm. X 30.5 cm.
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Among the most well known manufacturers of luxury silver, enamel and hardstone mounted items during the second half of the 19th century is Hermann Böhm. Like Ratzersdorfer (see cat.no. 15), Böhm had a prolific workshop catering to the growing bourgeois clientele whose newly monied taste gravitated towards objects that evoked the famous ‘Treasuries’ of European royal families, especially those formed by the Austrian Hapsburgs. As it was mentioned in The Jeweller & Metalworker magazine in describing Böhm’s exhibit at the 1889 Paris International Exposition “[Böhm’s] perfect reproductions of grand medieval pieces rich in gems and enamels of many colours, while even his modern specimens.....are so quaint and old-world in time and feeling that they have the charm of heirlooms”.
According to Erika Speel, Böhm (also known as Boehm) came out of the school of Ratzersdorfer and was associated from 1866 with Ludwig Politzer, working under the business name as Politzer & Böhm, until about 1870. Böhm’s workshop produced large amounts of renaissance style objects until 1922 and participated in several international expositions, where its work was held in high regard by the critics and led to several signficant commissions from abroad, including England and America. As Speel remarks: “The pieces from Böhm were known for their costly appearance, and he continued in the making of fine objects in the Renaissance style with crystal and lapis lazuli inlays...”1
1 Erika Speel, Viennese Enamels in the Renaissance Revival Style, The Magazine Antiques, April 2006, Vol. CLXIX, No. 4.
Erika Speel, Painted Enamels, An Illustrated History 1500-1920, Lund Humphries, 2008.
Claude Blair, ed. The History of Silver, Ballantine Books, 1987.
Meinrad Maria Grewenig, et.al., Macht & Pracht, Europas Glanz im 19. Jahrhundert, 2006, Edition Völklinger Hütte im Springpunkt Verlag.