Around 1900 the Pforzheim jewellery-making industry, which had been established since 1767, underwent an upturn to flourish as never before. The participation of Pforzheim businesses in the 1900 Paris World Exhibition and the thorough assimilation of a variety of influences from abroad - including the figurative French Art Nouveau style - ensured that Pforzheim Art Nouveau jewellery developed confidently towards aesthetic autonomy. Collaboration between the jewellery industry and professors at the Pforzheim School for the Applied Arts as well as sharp eyes for new developments outside the jewellery capital shaped Pforzheim jewellery creations around 1900. Other fecund sources of collaboration were the Darmstadt Mathildenhohe artists and Wiener Werkstatte.The author has discovered hitherto unpublished contemporary source material and has been able to draw on hundreds of extant original pieces of jewellery - brooches, pendants, collars, hatpins and hair combs that are now in museums, private collections and on the art market - to make a choice selection for this book.
Thus a living picture emerges of the diverse formal and technical possibilities that gave rise to the design, craftsmanship and industrial manufacture characteristic of Pforzheim Art Nouveau jewellery.