Art Deco Jeweller
Best known for its Art Deco designs, Theodor Fahrner was one of the most successful European costume jewellery manufacturers of the early 20th century.
Founded in 1855 in Pforzheim, Germany, by Theodor Fahrner and Georg Seeger, it became renowned for its Art Nouveau, Jungendstil, Arts & Crafts and Celtic Revival fashion jewels. Fahrner’s son, also named Theodor, took over in 1883 and by 1895 was the sole proprietor. The company rose to prominence in the late 19th century, and in 1900 won a silver medal at the Paris Exposition for its simple steel pieces.
Between 1900 and 1919 the company enhanced its reputation further, working with prominent artists such as Georg Kleeman and Joseph Maria Olbrich, on a range of jewellery that was subsidised by mass-produced pieces.
Fahrner’s over-riding principle was that the artistry of the jewellery was more valuable than its materials. A result of this philosophy was that the company’s designs used silver, enamel, pearls and semi-precious stones, including marcasite, agate, amazonite, amethyst, malachite, onyx, rock crystal, chalcedony, quartz and citrine.
When Theodor Fahrner junior died in 1919 the company was bought by Gustav Braendle and became known as Gustav Braendle – Theodor Fahrner Nachfolger and used the trademark Fahrner Schmuck.
The company’s first Art Deco collection, incorporating geometric designs that epitomised the style of the era, was launched in 1922. Today these pieces are highly collectable.
The 1932 filigree collection, which featured granulated and filigree decoration, characterised the firm’s later output.
In the 1960s, Fahrner made modern jewellery. The company closed in 1979. Marks usually combine the TF monogram in a circle, or include TF Germany. Unmarked pieces can be worth 75% less than signed ones.