FRANZ HINGELBERG -SVEND WEIHRAUCH DESIGNS
Frantz Hingelberg began the production of independent, artistically designed jewelry in Arhus, Denmark in 1897. But it was not until 1928 when Svend Weihrauch (1899 - 1962) joined the company as artistic director and workshop manager that the company took off. Weihrach was a designer and silversmith and joined Hingelberg after working with Georg Jensen for a number of years. From 1930 onwards he was the sole supplier of designs to this workshop.
Weihrauch's early, systematic adoption of organised production techniques within a field that was normally the domain of traditional craftsmanship made him an early exponent of Functionalism. The international success of his work at the World Fairs in Brussels in 1935, Paris in 1937 and New York in 1939 bears eloquent witness to this. The distinguishing feature of work done at the Frantz Hingelberg workshops was the division of labour and the production of silver hollowware by spinning instead of by chasing. It was thus the technical processes involved that exerted their influence on the design and shape of the silverware, and the smooth surfaces made possible by these production techniques served to highlight the effect of the geometrical shapes employed in the designs. The main material used for insulation was ebonite, an industrially produced substance that could be both sawn and polished by hand. However, ivory was also used. Svend Weihrauch was an unusually prolific designer. In the course of his twenty-eight years at Hingelberg's, he produced approximately 4,500 designs for hollowware, cutlery and jewellery, almost all of which were put into production.
The hollowware of his early years at Hingelberg's employed a stringency of shape while also embracing the decorative elements of the Art Deco style. In the more geometrical shapes that he produced in the period 1931 to 1932, the overall aesthetic effect was more the result of the technical processes concerned. The smooth surface revealed that spinning had been used, while a distinct separation of the individual components of each piece both emphasised the different functions of the particular parts and also made it possible to achieve designs with a composition distinguished by contrasting elements. Weihrauch also developed new methods of attaching the insulation material, demonstrating at the same time the interconnection of of the materials in question, in a way that also proved extremely decorative.
From about 1935 onwards, Weihrauch's stringent adherence to Constructivism gave way to more organic shapes, and in the 1950s, the organic aspects of his work sprang more from the inner forces at work in the piece itself. Svend Weihrauch's cutlery designs are distinguished by a functionalist sense of simplicity. Until 1948, such cutlery was exclusively made by hand, and thus only appeared in small numbers. Again, the designs have their origins in the technical process involved, supplemented by simple elements of craftsmanship, and featuring economical use of carefully controlled decorative details. Weihrauch's work with jewelery design is of lesser significance. The pieces featuring naturalistic floral decoration demonstrate all the skills of traditional craftsmanship, and are primarily a tribute to Weihrauch's additional training as a silver chaser. From 1940 onwards, his jewelery designs also employed silver wire, so that here, too, the production techniques influenced the design.
From DANISH JEWELRY by Jacob Thage and Svend Weihrauch by Jorg Schwandt.
Click HERE to read about Svend Weihrauch
Click HERE to read about Franz Hingelberg's influence on Danish Jewelry
Click HERE to read about Franz Hingelberg's influence on Danish Silver
Click HERE to read about the closing of the Franz Hingelberg shop