J.P. Kayser & Sohn AG - KAYSERZINN
German metalwork Company
In 1862 the Dusseldorf based Kayser family, already in the tin industry, opened a new foundry in the Bockum district of Krefeld. The firm reached its maximum size in 1899 with a workforce of 400.
The Krefeld foundry run by Jean Kayser was devoted to mass production, whereby the designs originated from the Cologne studio of Englebert Kayser.
At the world exhibitions in Paris (1900), Turin (1902), Dusseldorf and St.Louis (1904), the company enjoyed great success with its "Kayserzinn" or "Kayser pewter", a special lead-free alloy of tin and silver distinguished by its lasting gleam - success which it owed to its outstanding designers: Karl Geyer (1858-1912), Hermann Fauser(1874-1947), Karl Berghof(1881-1967) and others, but their main designer and artistic director was Hugo LEVEN (1874-1956), a name to be compared with that of Liberty's main pewter designer, Archibald KNOX.
The decors they designed were inspired by both floral French Art Nouveau and by linear Jugendstil.
It was the Kayser company's aim, through its use of the methods of mass production, to make artistically designed, contemporary Jugenstil objects of daily use (such as candlesticks, ashtrays, lamps, beakers, vases, tea and coffee sets) accessible to a broad selection of the public.
The artistic significance of Kayserzinn died with the death of Engelbert Kayser in 1911.
Kayserzinn objects in pewter are numbered from the (fictitious) number "4000" onwards and marked with the word "Kayserzinn". All objects were marked this way, either in a circular or oval frame, or horizontally. The model number "4000" was introduced in 1894-5 and the last, number "4999" was produced in 1925.
Kayserzinn candlesticks by Hugo LEVEN ;
Kayserzinn candlesticks by Joseph Maria OLBRICH;
round tray with bees by Hugo LEVEN ;
Kayserzinn 'bat' candelabra by Hugo LEVEN, c.1904.
see our Kayserzinn collection