Theodor Fahrner

Overview

Theodor Fahrner was a renowned German costume jewellery company who rose to prominence as a manufacturer of Jugendstil, Celtic Revival, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts designs. They also produced Art Moderne and Contemporary styles. However, they are probably best known today for their Art Deco jewellery.

The company, in common with the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement, believed that design and workmanship was more important than the value of the materials used. As well as one off pieces, they mass produced affordable yet very stylish jewellery. They became well known for use of low karat gold,  gilt silver and cut steel pieces, the use of gems such as amethyst, chalcedony, quartz, citrine, turquoise, rock crystal and coral. Opals and pearls were also utilised. They also incorporated enamel work, filigree, granulation and a great deal of marcasite (iron pyrite).

Theodor Fahrner pieces are considered highly collectible and have broad appeal.

1487339180718

Offered by Tadema Gallery. 

Important dates

1855

Theodor Fahrner founded in 1855 in Pforzheim, Germany, by Theodor Fahrner and Georg Seeger. The company’s focus was on producing rings.

1883

In 1883, the company was taken over by Fahrner’s son, also named Theodor.

1900

In 1900, the company was awarded a a silver medal at the Paris Exposition.

1900 to 1919.

The company became known for its simple steel pieces.

1901

TF trademark registered.

Began to export to Britain.

Collaborated with Murrie, Bennett & Co.

1919

Theodor Fahrner junior died in 1919 and the company was then bought by Gustav Braendle.  After this point, it used the trademark Fahrner Schmuck and was known as Gustav Braendle – Theodor Fahrner Nachfolger.

1922

They began to create Art Deco designs in 1922.

1932

In 1932 they began to produce their signature filigree and granulation collection.

1945

Factory destroyed by bomb and many designs were lost.

 1952

Gustav Braendle died and the firm was taken over by his son Herbert.

1960s

Produced modern silver pieces with stones and Roman and Egyptian Revival motifs.

1979

Herbert Braendle died and the company closed.

Designers

Darmstadt Artists Colony Artists 1899 – 

  • Joseph Maria Olbrich
  • Paul Burck
  • Ludwig Habich
  • Patritz Huber

Others

  • Franz Boeres (Collaborated with Theodor Fahrner 1905-1919)
  • Max Josef Gradl (Collaborated with Theodor Fahrner 1899-1910)
  • Hermann Häussler (Collaborated with Theodor Fahrner as enameler 1908-1911)
  • Julius Muller-Salem
  • H.C. van de Velde
  • Georg Kleeman

Trademarks

Mark:   Original Farhner 925      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon. 

Mark:   Original Farhner 925      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon. 

Mark:   "TF & Germany      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon.

Mark:   “TF & Germany      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon.

 Mark:   Fahrner made some jewelry for Murrle, Bennett and Co. which was signed with both their marks    Courtesy Cathy Gordon

 Mark:   Fahrner made some jewelry for Murrle, Bennett and Co. which was signed with both their marks    Courtesy Cathy Gordon

 Mark:   TF 935 Depose     Courtesy Cathy Gordon

 Mark:   TF 935 Depose     Courtesy Cathy Gordon

Mark:   TF & 935      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon.

Mark:   TF & 935      Photo courtesy Cathy Gordon.

  Mark:   Fahrner, TF, 925     Courtesy Ron Maranto

  Mark:   Fahrner, TF, 925     Courtesy Ron Maranto

        Mark:   TF, 935, Depose, PH (PH for Patriz Huber who designed exclusively for Fahrner from 1901-1902)     Courtesy friend of RCJ
        Mark:   TF, 935, Depose, PH (PH for Patriz Huber who designed exclusively for Fahrner from 1901-1902)     Courtesy friend of RCJ

Artist Marks (often used alongside Trademark). 

Courtesy of Lang’s Jewellery University. 

Paul Burck   

Paul Burck

 

Max Josef Gradl

Max Josef Gradl

Ludwig Habich

Ludwig Habich

Patriz Huber

Patriz Huber

Josef Maria Olbrich

Josef Maria Olbrich

H.C. van de Velde

H.C. van de Velde

Useful information for evaluation

1) It cannot be older than 1855 but must be from before 1979.

2) If it is Art Deco in style, it must be at least from 1922.

3) If it has filigree and granulation, it was probably created after 1932.

4) Unsigned pieces were produced. These are worth considerably less than signed pieces but can still be beautiful.

Further reading / sources:

Theodor Fahrner Jewelry between Avantgarde and Tradition, by Ulrike von Hase-Schmundt, Christianne Weber and Ingeborg Becker.

http://www.designgallery.co.uk/blog/20thcenturyjewellery/biographies-20thcenturyjewellery/theodor-fahrner/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darmstadt_Artists’_Colony

 

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Fahrner

http://www.langantiques.com/university/Fahrner,_Theodor_Jewelry_Maker’s_Mark

Copyright © 2017 by Pippa Gaubert Bear and Elder & Bloom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pippa Bear and Elder & Bloom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cartier Collections – Trinity de Cartier

TRINITY DE CARTIER

The Cartier Trinity Ring is a signature design of the world renowned Parisian jewellery company (1847 – Present). It was first created in 1924 by Louis Cartier. The beautiful interlocking white, yellow and pink gold bands have since gone on to inspire many other Cartier pieces, including bangles and necklaces, incorporating the same basic interlocking design.

The ring was adopted by the French artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau and has been favoured by many other high profile people. At the time, the simplicity of the design was in juxtaposition to the more outlandish Flapper aesthetic.

The three bands of the Trinity design are said to represent whatever the wearer chooses but  ‘Fidelity, Friendship and Love.’ is one popular interpretation.

Sources / further reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartier_(jeweler)

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Pp-kBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT819&lpg=PT819&dq=trinity+de+cartier&source=bl&ots=0xQLhZ8-uF&sig=UBEfmHiAPtd3KWCcXi8jeVoSoUU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiy5dyo87XUAhWFIpoKHQvoCuM4HhDoAQh_MAM#v=onepage&q=trinity%20de%20cartier&f=false

http://www.cartier.co.uk/en-gb/collections/jewelry/collections/trinity-de-cartier.html

https://www.elderandbloom.com/articles/2017/1/5/trilogy-and-trinity-rings

Tutti Frutti

Tutti Frutti is a style of Art Deco jewelry popularized by Cartier in the 1920s.  Inspired by the colorful and sumptuous jewelry of India, Carter returned from a trip to that country to design the new ‘Tutti Frutti’ style jewelry.  Tutti Frutti jewelry was characterized by a multitude of colorful gemstones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire, usually set in platinum with a surround of diamonds.  The colored gemstones were carved or cabochon. Other designers and costume jewelry manufacturers replicated and were influenced by the popular style. Genuine signed Cartier pieces are of course very valuable.

AN ART DECO 'TUTTI FRUTTI' BROOCH, BY CARTIER

AN ART DECO ‘TUTTI FRUTTI’ BROOCH, BY CARTIER
Christie’s 5968

A VERY FINE ART DECO MULTI-GEM 'TUTTI-FRUTTI' BRACELET, BY CARTIER

A VERY FINE ART DECO MULTI-GEM ‘TUTTI-FRUTTI’ BRACELET, BY CARTIER
Christie’s 1374

AN ART DECO 'TUTTI FRUTTI' MULTI-GEM, BLACK ENAMEL AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER

AN ART DECO ‘TUTTI FRUTTI’ MULTI-GEM, BLACK ENAMEL AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER
Christie’s Sale 1371

 

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, RUBY, SAPPHIRE AND EMERALD TUTTI FRUTTI DRESS CLIP, BY CARTIER

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, RUBY, SAPPHIRE AND EMERALD TUTTI FRUTTI DRESS CLIP, BY CARTIER
Christie’s Sale 2061

 

 

 

Art Deco Motifs

The Art Deco Era (1920-1939) was defined by certain distinguishing characteristics when it came to jewelry design.  Below, I am going to list the most common themes, influences or motifs.

Architectural

New advances in architecture created more streamlined and bold forms which were influential to Art Deco jewelry

AN ART DECO BROOCH AND EARRINGS, BY JDB

AN ART DECO BROOCH AND EARRINGS, BY JDB (Elizabeth Taylor’s Collection)
Christie’s Sale

GIARDINETTI (‘Little Garden’)

‘Giardinetti’ (from the Italian, meaning ‘little garden’) was another continuing theme. A giardinetti piece had tiny flowers arranged in a vase, pot or basket, usually made from precious stones. Also stylized flowers without vases or pots or baskets were often seen.

They had been popular since the Georgian era, but now had a decidedly Art Deco style.

Brooch

Paris, c. 1927-1940
Ostertag
Brooch platinum, white gold, baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emerald
V&A Museum

Egyptian

There was another, and perhaps most popular, Egyptian Revival movement in the Art Deco era.

An Egyptian revival sapphire and diamond scrab ring

An Egyptian revival sapphire and diamond scarab ring, c. 1925
Christie’s Sale 7804

Geometric

Bold and geometric designs were characteristic of the era.

Ring

USA, c. 1920-1930
Ring, platinum set with diamonds and sapphires
V&A Museum

Abstract

Abstract art (Cubistism, Constructivists and Futurists,  Suprematism from Russia, Dutch de-Stijl and African primative) was highly influential.

Bangle

Paris, c. 1925
Bangle, lacquered brass
V&A Museum

Machinery

Cars, machinery and machine parts were influential motifs

Brooch

England, c. 1937
Brooch, platinum set with diamonds
V&A Museum

Figurative

These consisted of hands, animals, birds, ladybirds, bouquets of flowers, cartoon characters and other novelty items

Brooch

Paris, c. 1930-1940
Cartier
Brooch with enameled gold, diamonds and carved coral
V&A Museum

Eastern

Chinese and Japanese motifs and styles were popular, as well as Arabesque themes

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE, JADE AND ONYX BRACELET

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE, JADE AND ONYX BRACELET
Christie’s Sale 2306

Bows

Bow motifs continued to be popular

An Art Deco diamond bow brooch

Diamond Bow Brooch
Christie’s Sale 6704

Native American

Native American design was influential, in particular giving rise to long, woven sautoir necklaces.

AN ART DECO PEARL, DIAMOND AND ONYX SAUTOIR

AN ART DECO PEARL, DIAMOND AND ONYX SAUTOIR
Christie’s Sale 3011

Further reading / resources:

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Art_Deco_Jewelry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_jewelry#Art_Deco_jewelry_.281915.E2.80.931935.29

The Eras of Jewelry Defined

Although there is some disagreement about precise dates and categories, these seem to be the most agreed upon definitions of the historical periods of antique and vintage fine and collectible jewelry  in the English speaking world.  Often these periods overlap and of course changes in styles can often be more nuanced and gradual than these categorizations might suggest.  However, for the practical purpose of understanding the history of antique jewelry, these are the best definitions as I see them.  I have also given an approximate overview of some of the basic characteristics of each period which I will be adding to over time, so if you find this useful as a reference please do keep checking back in.

Georgian Jewelry (1714-1837)

A GEORGIAN DIAMOND AND ENAMEL RING

Christie’s Sale 5388, 13 June 2012, London, King Street
A GEORGIAN DIAMOND AND ENAMEL RING

Some characteristics of Georgian jewelry:  gems set in gold / claw settings for paste / Motifs included bows, flowers, giardinetti, feathers, leaves, arrows, quivers, lyres / cannetille work / types of jewelry included stomachers, aigrettes, girandoles, chatelaines, buckles, buttons, pendeloque earrings, pairs of bracelets, necklaces secured by ribbons, slides and rings, enamel work/ Etruscan revival beginning 1830

Victorian Jewelry (1837 – 1901)

Victorian Jewelry can be further broken down to:

Early Victorian Romantic jewelry 1837-1860

Mid-Victorian Grand jewelry 1861-1880

Late Victorian Aesthetic jewelery 1880-1900

A Victorian coral demi-parure

Christie’s Sale 8127, 16 January 2013, London, South Kensington
A Victorian coral demi-parure

Some characteristics of Victorian jewelry: Gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, coral, amethyst, garnet, turquoise / Tortoiseshell / Human hair / Sentimental and nostalgic items / Black and dark colored mourning jewelry / Matching sets (parures) / Cameos / pique / Jet / Revival themes that took their  inspiration from ancient cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Assyrian, Etruscan), Canetille continued.

Arts & Crafts Jewelry 1894-1923

AN OPAL PENDANT

Christie’s sale 7634, The London Sale: Jewels, 10 December 2008, London, King Street
Arts & Crafts Opal Pendant

Some Characteristics of Arts & Crafts Jewelry:  Hand-worked / lack of mechanization / natural materials / simple designs / colorful uncut stones / rejection of Industrial Revolution / often silver

Art Nouveau Jewelry 1890 – 1914

Brooch/pendant, carved opal, demantoid garnet, diamonds, 18k yg, platinum, c. 1890, a circ carved opal depicting a sea nymph, rising/setting sun with circ-cut diamond center, and ocean waves, with grad oe diamond border above and demantoid-set yg foliate wreath border surmounted by two stylized fish below, three hidden pendant loops, sgd "Marcus & Co."

Brooch/pendant with carved opal, demantoid garnet, diamonds, 18k yellow gold, and platinum, c. 1890. A carved opal depicting a sea nymph with ocean waves by Marcus & Co.

Some characteristics of Art Nouveau jewelry: Curves / Natural motifs / Mythical creatures such as dragons, mermaids, fairies and sprites / Gems such as pearls, opal, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline, rose quartz, chalcedony, chyrsoprase, and amethyst / Enamel /Glass/The female form and face / Long pearl strands / no diamonds

Edwardian or Garland Jewelry 1901-1915

AN EDWARDIAN DIAMOND PENDANT

Christie’s Sale 7853, Jewels – The London Sale, 9 June 2010, London, King Street
EDWARDIAN DIAMOND PENDANT

Some characteristics of Edwardian or Garland Jewelry: More ostentatious display of wealth / diamonds, emeralds and rubies / bow, garland, leaf motifs / intricate detailing / platinum settings

Art Deco Jewelry (1920-1939)

An Art Deco diamond, emerald and onyx ring

Christie’s Sale 6704, 5 September 2012, London, South Kensington
Art Deco diamond, emerald and onyx ring

Some characteristics of Art Deco Jewelry: Bold geometric designs / Vertical lines / Contrasting primary colors / Gemstones included diamonds, black onyx, lapis lazuli, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, jade, torquoise, topaz / Cabochon and carved gemstones / Amber, bakelite, celluloid and enamel work.

Retro or Cocktail Jewelry (1940-1959)

18 karat gold, platinum, ruby and diamond clip brooch by Chaumet, circa 1945.
For more information see here.

Some characters of Retro or Cocktail Jewelry: Motifs included stylized flowers, animals and bows as well as mechanical motifs such as tank treads, padlocks and chains/ Enamel work / Jeweled brooches / Thin sheets of gold created to conserve metal whilst giving an impression of substances / Gemstones were often small and included diamonds, synthetic rubies and light sapphires / Rose gold / bold / inspired by Hollywood / chunky, raised gemstones / synthetic gems / patriotic themes / large and gold / brooches / wide bangles

Modernist Jewelry (1930-1960)

catphoto

Ed Wiener modernist jewelry sterling silver brooch with stone
C. late 1940’s – early 1950’s
Click on image for more information.

Some characteristics of Modernist Jewelry: Rejected the ‘fussiness’, feminine and decorative styles of Art Nouveau / Rejected the rigidity and structure of Art Deco / Inspired by ‘Art’ (sculpture and painting) / Often worked in silver and copper / No concern for value of materials, not used to express wealth / Used found objects / Surreal motifs /Geometric or biomorphic / Masculine / Semi-precious stones such as garnets and opals and unusual stones such as cat’s eye / African and cubist motifs / Primal forms / Unexpected materials such as acrylic and wood / Influenced by Bauhaus, Surrealist and Dadist / Hand-working and one of a kind designs

Sources / further reading:

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/fine-jewelry/modernist

http://www.mschon.com/Modernistjewelry.htm

http://www.trocadero.com/auermaf/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arts_and_Crafts_movement

http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/a/art-deco/

http://www.antiques-bible.com/retro-jewelry/