I have a chafing dish marked “Jos. Heinrichs, Paris – New York, Pure Bronze, Sterling Silver”. It is beautifully styled, well made and extremely heavy. Those of you who are familiar with this blog understand that I have a need to know. And I needed to know who this Joseph Heinrichs was. Below are tidbits of information that I found on Mr. Heinrichs. I also learned that Joseph Heinrichs manufactured items for Tiffany’s, was associated with Gorham, and designed many gorgeous works of art in sterling, copper and bronze which are highly prized and in private collections. So why is there so little information on the man? Oh, I know where and when he was born and when he arrived in the United States. But I don’t know if he ever married and had children. Or when he died and where he was buried. Or what clubs he belonged to. And even his business operations are somewhat of a mystery. All I can do is provide what information I did find and present it in chronological order, hoping that this might be of help to those researching Joseph Heinrichs, metalsmith.
LINK: www.smpub.com/ubb/forum21/htmlIn Rainwater & Redfield’s “Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers” they note that “Joseph Heinrich worked as a molder and finisher of copperware in the late 1880’s. About 1897 he established his own business ….” I could not find any listings for Mr. Heinrichs before 1900. I’ve gathered some advertisements, directory listings etc. and tried to organize them in a chronological fashion: -1900- First listing indicates he was making or selling urns. Coffee urns?
And the following 1900 ad is a little bizarre…doctors and nurses are the target market!
-1901 & 1902-
In the above note the change of address from 1146 Broadway in 1901 to 948 Broadway in 1902. -1903-
And the first patent I found for him was for a coffee pot (apparently he didn’t like the one for the doctors and nurses):
Note that he mentions in the above ad that his coffee pots are stamped on the bottom “Jos. Heinrichs, Paris and New York”. This is in 1904. I mention this because a good part of my research involved the dating of some Jos. Heinrichs items that I have showing only the “New York” mark and not “Paris – New York”. For example, these candle holders only have the “New York” mark:
And a 1904 patent for a burner:
Earlier burners had an adjustable wick, therefore, this patent could possibly act as a means of dating one or the other. The patent date found on these burners is seen much later on coffee pots, teapots, etc. but is for the burner only. -1905-
It’s interesting to see in the above ad, that he has begun selling coffee, too. Diversification! -1906-
-1909 & 1910-
Note the 227 W29th address shown above is listed below as a factory.
He has branched out to include cocktail shakers in 1910. -1911-1915-
Note the addition of the 461 5th Ave address; he has two retail stores in Manhattan at this point.
“Metal Work” Factory at 227 W29th – note 25 employees and 1 in the office. -1917-
In the January 24, 1917 issue of The National Corporation Reporter, we see that Joseph Heinrichs & Co., Inc. had been formed. I’ve seen “Jos. Heinrichs Corp. New York” backstamps without “Paris”. Did World War I play a part in dissolving the French Steam Coffee Pot relationship? The ad below is the last evidence I have of the Paris connection (was he selling old stock?) So, if we go from a “Paris – New York” mark to a “Corp.” mark, the “New York” alone backstamp might be his earliest. Just conjecture on my part.
Note the two entries under House Furnishings above. -1919-
Who is Herman Bassemir? I need to do further research on him. -1920-
Angelo Scavullo has his own story….
And the snippet below shows he was making hammered silver items for soda fountains too.
-1925 & 1926-
Was he making a move out of town? -1927-
The patent above was assigned to Joseph Heinrichs Corp. Note Angelo states he is residing at 948 Broadway, which is the address of the retail shop. -1929-
Not sure what to make of the 1935 piece above, was this his new address? However 1937 brought bankruptcy to Heinrichs.
Legion is still in business today.
From the above advertisements and listings, it appears the “Paris – New York” mark was used from around 1904 to about 1918, and seeing Heinrichs was incorporated in 1917, it doesn’t seem to leave much room for the New York only mark. Could the match holder above be an early example of his work? The match holder and ashtray shown above and the candle holders shown earlier are all available for purchase at my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna/search?search_query=heinrichs&order=date_desc&view_type=list&ref=shop_search
NOTE: Scott Bowen has a beautiful Heinrichs’ bear smoking / drinking set for sale. Photos follow. Please see Scott’s comment below and contact him if your are interesting in purchasing. SORRY, THIS SET HAS SOLD!
Following is the backstamp; note there is no maker’s mark: