Maker: August Klein (Vienna, Austria)
Material: Shagreen, gilded metal, wood
Size: L. 11 ½”
Marks: Stamped “A. Klein”
Year: ca. 1867
2014.05.12 EL Mr. and Mrs. Franck H. Kaiser, Sr. Collection
Adelicia’s jewelry case is covered in shagreen (shark’s skin) and is monogramed AA. The case exhibits a blue watered silk interior with an inset compartment for a watch. In all probability this item was a grand tour purchase found in either London or Paris.
August Klein, the manufacturer of the jewelry case, was considered the leading producer of “leatherwork bronze fancy articles and trinkets.” Klein relocated from Germany to Vienna where he opened a factory in 1846. With immediate success, he soon opened a showroom there as well. Other showrooms were located in both Paris at 6 & 8 Boulevard des Capucines and in London at 75 Wimpole Street. By 1862, Klein employed 300 workers in his Vienna factory.
Klein exhibited in 1851 at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, plus the London International Exhibition of 1862. His firm was well represented at the Paris Exhibition of 1855 and 1867. In 1873 at the Vienna Exhibition, he received a first place award. Across the world at the 1880 Melbourne Australia International Exhibition, he received a First Order of Merit. August Klein served as the Imperial Provider to Alfonso XII, King of Spain, Purveyor to the Prince of Wales, and to the Imperial Courts of Austria and France.