"Gold and Silver for the King"

1 February 2019
Press Office of the Amber Museum

From 1 February the Amber Museum is presenting the works by George Hossauer, the court's jeweller of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. The exhibition will show a collection of dishes and small statuary from the 19th century made of bronze and silver.

Johann George Hossauer was born on 5 October 1794 in Berlin, learnt the goldsmith craft in Paris. This is where he mastered different techniques of work with precious and non-precious metals. In 1818 the Prussian King Frederick William III during his visit to Paris notices his works and invited him to Berlin to organise production of items from gold and silver. In Berlin George Hossauer met the German architect and artist Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Based on his sketches George Hossauer produced insignia, dinnerware, and silver cutlery proving himself as a skilled and responsible craftsman. In 1819 Hossauer opened an enterprise producing items from platinum, gold, silver, bronze, copper in Berlin. In 1844 over 100 people worked at his workshop.

In 1822 George Hossauer was awarded gold medal at the trade show in Berlin, and in 1826 he was given a title "The Court's Jeweller of the King".

Soon Hossauer mastered the technique of enamel, constructed a device for pattern stamping on large metal surfaces. He invented a concave parabolic mirror for lighthouses and created a new cupro-nickel alloy. By 1842 he mastered the newest at the time technique of gold and silver plating. This method elaborated by him was used in making dishes, small statuary, and decorative elements from various metals.

In 1827 the jeweller was awarded 4th class Order of the Red Eagle, and in 1839 – 3rd class Order of the Red Eagle. In 1863 he became the senior commercial counsellor of the king, and in 1867 receives the 2nd class Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown.

George Hossauer, the famous court's jeweller of the Prussian King, influenced development of technologies in jewellery, developed techniques of metal work, which are also used today. 

The exhibition "Gold and Silver for the King" will work until 31 March.

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