|In 1907 he married a
Berliner, Margarethe Hilme. Soon afterwards his
son Harry and his daughter Lucie were born. At
first, the model collection of the new company
consisted of small ivory carvings, including
statuettes of children and carvings whose motifs
were mostly oriented towards classical ideals.
From 1910 onwards the first carvings which
combined bronze with ivory were produced. The
casting was done by the company Gladenbeck in
Berlin. By the time the First World War broke out
in 1914 the company had brought the number of
employees up to six; all were outstanding ivory
carvers from Erbach.
Immediately after the end of the
war Preiss and Kassler built up the business
again which would reach full bloom during the
1920s. Preiss was the artistic director whereas
Kassler devoted himself to the commercial side of
the business. Their speciality were Art
Déco-style cabinet sculptures which combined
ivory with painted bronze and which were mounted
on plinths made of onyz or marble and sometimes
also on mantelpiece clocks or lampstands. The
models, which were practically all designed by
Ferdinand Preiss, were produced in limited
editions. A large proportion of the production
was exported to England and the USA.
Preiss & Kassler existed until 1943.
Ferdinand Preiss died that year at the age of 61
from a brain tumor. The workshop with the stock
of samples in Ritterstraße in Berlin completely
burned down in 1945 just before the end of the
war during a bomb attack.
is regarded as one of the leading ivory carvers
of the Art Déco scene in the 1920s and 1930s.
His bronze-ivory carvings are among the most
costly in the world.
Preiss & Kassler logo