Antique 19th Century Herman Ratzersdorfer Austro-Hungarian Renaissance Revival Bracelet

A rare and wonderful Viennese enamel and gemstone bracelet from the workshop of Herman Ratzerdorfer, nestled in its original box. Hermann Ratzersdorfer was born in Bratislava in 1819 and moved to Vienna in the 1840s, establishing his workshop and registering his silversmith mark in 1842. Over the course of the next four decades he attained the status of master craftsman, one of only a few to achieve this distinguished rank in Vienna. He worked in the popular Renaissance Revival style, incorporating elaborate enamelwork and gemstones into lavish designs for jewelry, flatware, vases, snuffboxes and other objet d'art. Ratzersdorfer was recognized with awards at the 1851 Viennese Trade Exhibition, the 1855 Paris Exhibition and the 1871 London Exhibition. His workshop was one of the most highly esteemed in Vienna in the mid-late 1800s and many of his pieces were sold for export, ending up with clients across Europe. His work is highly regarded and extremely collectible today. Very, very few of his pieces survive, possibly because he supposedly purchased many of his previously sold items and destroyed them before his death. It is quite rare to find wearable items such as this, let alone in an original box.

This bracelet includes gemstones that were probably locally sourced in Austria. The confetti-like combination of colorful gemstones, pearls and white, black and red enamel detail is delightful. The large circular clasp forms the center point of the bracelet, with intricate links containing round cabochon, oval and round mixed cut garnets, cushion mixed cut emeralds, pearls and green gemstones, likely chrysoberyl. The bracelet is stamped with the Austro-Hungarian hallmark for silver and the maker’s mark for Hermann Ratzersdorfer. The box is fitted for the bracelet and marked for the store where it was sold, in the famous Kohlmarkt at the heart of Vienna.

Fun fact: We know that Frederic Chopin lived at this same address on the 4th floor, Kohlmarkt No. 9, from 1830-1831. That building was razed in 1900. 

Measurements: 7 inches long, clasp is 1 ½ inches wide, 44.8 grams
Era: 1867-1880s
Markings: The Austro-Hungarian hallmark for silver, post 1867, and the maker’s mark for Hermann Ratzersdorfer

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