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Everlasting Elegance: Goldscheider Ceramics


Goldscheider ceramics, an Austrian ceramic manufacturing company founded in 1885, grew to become one of the most leading manufacturers of bronze, terracotta, and faience objects. Led under the astute direction of Friedrich Goldscheider, this company successfully opened subsidiary manufacturing locations in Paris and Florence. It became a dominant fixture in the prolific production of porcelain products and created a magnificent name for itself in the realm of highly respected decorative arts. To own a Goldscheider piece was a glorious treasure: a symbol of high wealth and status.

The company employed many different artists who burgeoned into some of the most influential and famous individuals in their work and talent. While producing numerous types of items, artists of the Goldscheider factory produced works of historical revivalism, art deco, and art nouveau. The factory created over ten thousand different and striking models in these and various other astoundingly magnificent styles. All the while, these objects won prizes and particularly immense attention at universal exhibitions and world’s fairs.


Though the Goldscheider family business experienced enormous success, wartime Austria shook their history, but was not able to break them. When Nazi’s invaded Vienna, the relentless Gestapo stumbled into the Goldscheider factory. Fortunately, a worker in the basement was able to hear the clamor above and quickly hid all the original molds from possibly theft or destruction. Clever as this worker was, the molds were never uncovered by the ruthless Nazis. One member of the large Goldscheider family, Peter Goldscheider was able to escape to the United States, vowing to return to retrieve the molds. Twenty years later, Peter unearthed the hidden molds and revealed their precious meaning and timeless qualities to the world. A story of success and endearing truth, the Goldscheider business still flourishes in artistic production today.


In their enormous success, Goldscheider manufacturers set the standard of style for exquisite Art Nouveau sculpture. The movement became immensely popular at the turn of the 19th century Europe, situating itself as one of the most revolutionary and praised art movements of its time.  As Goldscheider artists and sculptures were known for their fluidity in design and realistic depictions, the international public praised Goldscheider for fully embodying the popular Art Nouveau movement. Inspired by natural forms, the art nouveau style was compromised of swirling curvilinear lines, harmonizing female forms, and organic subject matter.


Bertrand, an acclaimed artist of the Goldscheider business, produced many different female busts that are still highly praised today. This elegant terracotta bust evokes all characteristics of an art nouveau piece. The young, elegant maiden is adorned by gold flowers and leaves that envelop her and completely parallel her with nature. Her warm smile invites the viewer into admiration and her form is timeless.


Leveque, another highly skilled French artist employed by the Goldscheider manufacturers, created an ideal vision of the 19th century Western European idea of feminine beauty. In this period, Europeans were within an intense fascination for the striking differences and extraordinarily unique beauty of Eastern and African countries and their women. While many artists and admirers did not travel to these countries, they constructed fantasies and superbly elegant imaginations of the locale and people of these orientalist places. Specifically, this bust represents the European ideal of the North African woman. Supremely beautiful tanned skin encapsulates the terra cotta piece and a flowing head scarf completes the exotic features. All the while, mastery in the Art Nouveau style presents itself: the woman’s slopping shoulders, the elegant curves and swirls of her dress, and the supremely ladylike profile of her face.


The immediate Goldscheider success, which has prevailed to today, was due to not only highly intelligent business men, but an international market that consistently praised its pieces. The company’s extraordinary and remarkable history of achievement coupled with its timeless, astonishingly beautiful, and expertly crafted pieces has secured its influence and place in artistic manufacturers.






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