Ratzersdorfer, Hermann (Austrian, fl. 1843-1881)

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Hermann Ratzersdorfer (1817 – 1894) was one of the leading Viennese goldsmiths of the second half of the 19th Century, specialising in gold and silver objets d'art.

Ratzersdorfer, who moved to Vienna in the early 1840s, soon found it more lucrative to imitate rare pieces rather than trade in originals. He opened his workshop in 1843 and registered his own maker’s mark certifying his recognition as a master goldsmith. In 1845 he exhibited his workmanship at the Viennese Trade Exhibition. Ratzersdorfer’s pieces became famous outside of Austria when he exhibited at the London Exhibition of 1851 and won a medal for “a toilet glass...of elaborate and choice workmanship”.

Over the course of his career, Ratzersdorfer enjoyed many prestigious commissions. The highest profile of these was issued by Austrian Emperor, who requested that Ratzersdorfer craft the mounts of a royal cabinet in 1871. However, it is said that Ratzersdorfer put the most effort into the pieces he created for the 1873 Exhibition in Vienna, for which he was given a Diploma of Honour.

Hermann retired in 1881, and handed the business over to his son Julius.