Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Price: £850 (repriced)
For sale is this rare set of silver, enamel and chrysoprase jugendstil spoons. Each spoon is set with two green stones (I believe chrysoprase) and four sections of enamel. The stem carries a “celtic knot” quite probably showing the influence of Archibald Knox and also Patriz Huber. The overall effect is very modern, classic jugendstil; bridging the gap from art nouveau to art deco.
These spoons are fully assayed for 1903, Henry Charles Freeman, London 1903, but also carry the English import mark. The spoons are German and each also carries the impressed mark of MS in a lozenge for the German importer Max Stollsteimer.
The maker and designer of these spoons is Hermann & Speck. A client has an identical single spoon marked for this Pforzheim firm of Karl Hermann and Albert Speck. Karl Hermann was the lead designer of the enterprise and so it is most likely he designed these spoons.
The first creations by German jeweller Karl Hermann were recorded in 1898, under the mention of his workshop in Pforzheim, Germany, in the same local address book as his contemporary Heinrich Levinger. Here, the firm advertised itself as a factory for jewellery and enamelled silverware. By 1902, the workshop had expanded enough for Hermann to require a business partner and he recruited his former jewellery technician Albert Speck to join him in running the bourgeoning business. From this time onwards the company used the mark ‘HS’, continuing to work under the name of Karl Hermann, even after he left the business to the sole care of Albert Spec in 1906. By 1900, Karl Hermann’s workshop was well known in the area for creating pieces which were heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau.
The spoons are in excellent original condition, are a good gauge and very well made. There is just one slight hairline crack visible to one of one spoon’s enamels.
Maker: Hermann & Speck (also marked Henry Charles Freeman and M.S.)
Designer: Karl Hermann (presumed)
Marks: HCF, London, “h”, import mark, MS German sponsor mark
Material: Sterling silver, enamel, chrysoprase
Condition: Excellent. Original enamel.
Size: 12.5 cm long
Weight: 24 grams, 0.8 oz each