To come straight to the point, Ferdinand Preiss was my grandfather. That alone would be reason enough to create a Web site about him but, on top of that, he is also a famous grandfather. When he was still unknown and I was a child, I already figured among his greatest admirers. At that time, during the 1950s, one would have been able to purchase his sculptures for a song. When Art Déco came back into fashion in the 1970s that changed. The Preiss sculptures developed into a small sensation on the art market and obtained sensational prices at auctions. The unknown artist, who signed himself F. Preiss, was given the first name Fritz or Frederic and people presumed that he was an Austrian or a Czech by birth. However, Ferdinand Preiss was born in the place where most German ivory carvers come from, in Erbach in the Odenwald.

During my lifetime I have come across many of his sculptures: in antique shops for more or less prohibitively expensive prices, sometimes as originals but also sometimes as fakes, and in many art books about the Art Déco period. My grandfather, therefore, is not unknown today as an artist. Only in the Internet is he a novelty. Perhaps this will result in the possibility of getting into contact with art collectors from all over the world. Possibly it will even inspire an exhibition to be organised in which the most beautiful of the over 200 different models that Ferdinand Preiss designed can be seen.

Write to me if you like the Preiss sculptures or if you are an art collector or if you have questions. I look forward to receiving your mail.

Jutta Stern (born Preiss)

  back / contact address