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.
Theodor Fahrner founded in 1855 in Pforzheim, Germany, by Theodor Fahrner and Georg Seeger. The company's focus was on producing rings.
In 1883, the company was taken over by Fahrner's son, also named Theodor.
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.
TF trademark registered.
Began to export to Britain.
Collaborated with Murrie, Bennett & Co.
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.
They began to create Art Deco designs in 1922.
In 1932 they began to produce their signature filigree and granulation collection.
Factory destroyed by bomb and many designs were lost.
Gustav Braendle died and the firm was taken over by his son Herbert.
Produced modern silver pieces with stones and Roman and Egyptian Revival motifs.
Herbert Braendle died and the company closed.
Darmstadt Artists Colony Artists 1899 -
- Joseph Maria Olbrich
- Paul Burck
- Ludwig Habich
- Patritz Huber
- 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
Artist Marks (often used alongside Trademark).
Courtesy of Lang's Jewellery University.
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.
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