Between craft and art

Expressive gold brooch by Anton Frühauf, Merano 1914-1999

Jewellery of the 1960s playfully turns against the abstractions of Art Deco as well as against the widespread classicism of the immediate pre-war years and thus testifies to the will for a completely new beginning after the Second World War. With lightness and wit, the privations of the great war were renounced and the future was turned towards, without at the same time forgetting to express the new wealth of the economic miracle in the field of jewellery as well. Thus the present brooch shows itself in the splendour of a high-carat 750 gold. It was made by the famous Merano goldsmith Anton Frühauf (1914-1999). The rectangular piece of jewellery is composed of three cast reliefs, each showing a water bearer. The dresses as well as the vessels the women carry on their heads are enamelled in black, white and red. The brooch appears powerful and is reminiscent of comparative pieces in the field of sculpture of the 1960s. As a goldsmith, Frühauf saw himself as an artist who wanted to produce wearable works of art. The modernist jewellery movement began in the 1930s and developed its momentum especially in the decades after the Second World War. Frühauf became an influential master of his craft beginning in the 1950s. Like his American contemporaries, Frühauf always designed and manufactured his jewelry himself. Frühauf's goldsmith work is characterized by a vivid surface, highlighted by gemstones or enameling. He drew inspiration from nature, people and the environment. He used abstracted leaves and tree bark in the form of rings and pendants, along with archaic-looking pieces of jewellery with depictions reminiscent of geometric-abstract sculptures and paintings. Anton Frühauf received numerous awards and several prizes: in 1957 at the International Crafts Fair in Munich the gold medal of the Bavarian State Prize, in 1968 he was awarded the Austrian State Prize at the exhibition "Gold and Silver" in the Innsbruck Hofburg, in 1970, 1976, 1979 and 1983 he was present at the "International Jewellery Arts Exhibition" in Tokyo, at the Biennale in Florence in 1973, in 1984 he was again awarded the gold medal at the 36th International Crafts Fair in Munich. In 1984 he was again awarded the Gold Medal of the Bavarian State Prize at the 36th International Crafts Fair in Munich, and in 1996 he was honoured with the Cross of Merit of the Province of Tyrol in Innsbruck. His works are in numerous museums, including the Pforzheim Jewelry Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Boston, and in a fine selection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Anton Frühauf was born in Merano in 1914. He was a jeweller and freelance artist, painter, graphic artist and caricaturist. From 1928 to 1932 he attended the commercial academy in Innsbruck. From 1935 to 1936 he worked as a trainee for Davide Ventrella in Rome. From 1937 to 1938 he studied for two semesters at the State School of Applied Arts in Munich. At the same time he worked for Weisshaupt in Munich until 1940, followed by a teaching position as a drawing instructor at the Technical University in Munich from 1941 to 1943. After the end of the war he founded his own workshop in Meran. Cf. on Frühauf alsoühauf.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.