In Munich, brothers Joseph and Anton Hemmerle take over an established goldsmiths’ company specialising in medals and orders, whose clients include the Bavarian Royal family. The brothers bring their own style and ideas to the business, renamed Hemmerle,
exploring materials and refining craftsmanship.
Known for its craftsmanship
since 1893, Hemmerle produces
only one-of-a-kind pieces.
International Herald Tribune
The Paris Exposition Universelle marks the high point of Art Nouveau, or Jugendstil as the style is known in Germany. Hemmerle, fast gaining a reputation and gathering awards, participate at the Exposition, and win a coveted prize for the Bishop’s Cross in enamel and gemstones that highlights their display.
The next generation makes its mark, as
Stefan and Franz Hemmerle take over.
Stefan has trained as a goldsmith in
Munich, before working with jewellers in
France, Italy and Denmark, nurturing new
ideas and his individual style. At a time of
social and cultural change, with a new
approach to luxury and fine jewellery,
Stefan, immersed in Hemmerle’s rich and
noble heritage, understands jewellery
conventions, craftsmanship and traditions
well enough to begin to change them.
To mark the 100th Anniversary, Stefan creates a striking
Bavarian Lion composed of yellow gold and over 2,000 brown,
green, orange and canary-yellow diamonds with yellow-brown
sapphires forming the lion’s back. The setting of the diamonds,
mixed with their natural colour, makes for a subtle and scintillating
texturebrought to life by the design. A party is hosted in Berlin
to show the brooch and celebrate the anniversary.
Stefan Hemmerle and his wife Sylveli, decide the
time is right to break with the past and transform
the jewel into a true contemporary work of art.
While honouring family heritage, respecting
jewellery traditions and revering age-old
craftsmanship, Stefan and Sylveli, take sole control
of the business and conjure an avant-garde aesthetic
of powerfully audacious modernity, layered with
cultural references, to art, architecture and
artisanship. The creative concept generated by this
philosophy is sparked by a commission from a
client, an art collector who ‘detested flashy gems.’
She wears examples of early 19th century Berlin iron
jewellery: neo-classical, architectural cast iron
ornaments worn by patriotic Germans in place of
gold, which they donated to the War effort during
the War of Liberation, 1813-15. With this in mind,
Stefan Hemmerle decides to set an important
diamond in a ring of textured iron.
It’s not every client request that
inspires a designer to branch off
into a direction he never before
imagined and subsequently
to develop an entirely new style
in doing so.
Hemmerle revives an early 19th century,
near-extinct Austrian technique of
woven, knitted, precious gem beads.
Each bead is hand-hewn and carved,
hand-drilled, impeccably matched for
colour, and often carefully calibrated and
graduated to achieve a silky gem-mesh
knitted in the round, on silk, for bangles
or long necklaces, often hung with a
signature Hemmerle tassel. This labour-
and time-intensive process reflects the
pursuit of artisanal excellence.
Century-old German jewellery house Hemmerle is a staunch defender of the craftsman’s trade.
Christian and Yasmin Hemmerle, Stefan and Sylveli’s son and daughter-in-law join Hemmerle. By now, Hemmerle’s distinctive design ethos has become the ultimate understatement of sophisticated preciousness. The continual search for the most intriguing gemstones, both old and new, is crucial and the globe is scoured treasure hunting for materials. A visual vocabulary continues to evolve: geometric silhouettes of rectangular cut gems or oval cabochons, mismatched earrings, wide curved armour-like cuffs, heavy curb chains, luxuriant tassels earrings.
One minute, they might set a large,
cut aquamarine of an Aryam blue
into an iron bangle of fierce
single-mindedness, the next twist
hundreds of tiny, polished carnelian
beads into a bejewelled rope.
A nature-inspired collection of 16 pieces of jewellery is launched at TEFAF Maastricht in March. An accompanying book Nature’s Jewels pairs the jewels with poetry from around the world selected by Greta Bellamacina and published by MACK.
Our own philosophy resonates with poetry - originality, beauty, boldness, creativity, and technical understanding also go into making a Hemmerle jewel.