The Theodor Fahrner jewellery company is best known for its typical Art Nouveau designs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Theodor Fahrner was born in Pforzheim between 1859 and 1868. He trained as a steel engraver and went to Pforzheim Commercial Arts Society to train in the arts. When he took over his father’s ring factory upon his death in 1883, he began to combine these skills to produce pieces of jewellery in the Jugendstil tradition, employing materials such as enamel, marcasite and semi-precious stones. Many of his designs were based on organic shapes and animals, a typical theme of the time.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Fahrner had begun to collaborate with other artists and in 1900 exhibited at the Paris Universal Exhibition where he was awarded a silver medal for his work, created alongside Max J Gradl. The resulting publicity marked an upturn in the fortunes of the company.
As the century began, he established the company’s TF trademark and the company began exporting into Britain. They also began to collaborate with other proponents of the Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau) movement, including Murrle Bennett and Georg Kleeman.
When Theodor Fahrner died in 1919 the company was bought by Gustav Braendle and became known as ‘Gustav Braendle – Theodor Fahrner Nachfolger’. In the 1920’s the Art Deco style was at its height and the pieces produced by the company in this style are highly collectable.