German Orivit Art nouveau pewter platter with fish decoration c.1898
Stunning Art nouveau pewter platter with fish decoration. Initials read HBH 1873 – 1898 12 Juin.
Amongst other manufacturers of art nouveau objects for everyday use the German company Orivit of Cologne, founded in 1895, stands out. No other firm produced as many lovely designs in so short a time.
The company was founded in 1895 by Ferdinand Hobert Schmitz who had purchased a pre-existing bronze and metal work firm near Cologne, Germany. In 1898 the word Orivit was listed as a trademark referring to a new luxury pewter line and Orivit items won acclaim garnering a gold medal at the Paris World Exposition of 1900. In 1900 the name of Schmitz’s firm was changed to Orivit. The firm employed the revolutionary Huber press which evidently allowed metal to be pressed into the desired form using a highly pressurised system. Orivit products were produced for domestic trade in Germany and sold abroad. In England Orivit was sold by the famous firm Liberty.Like the art nouveau movement itself the company as it originally existed was short-lived; bankrupt in 1905 the firm was purchased by the larger WMF which continues to produce silver plated objects today.
Photographed alongside Art Nouveau German Kayserzinn pewter serving tray c.1900
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