Hemmerle was founded in 1893, when Joseph and Anton Hemmerle took over an established goldsmiths’ company in Munich. Their clients included the wealthy elite and the Bavarian royal family. Hemmerle’s popularity soared in 1900, when the brothers won a prize at the Exposition Universelle in Paris for a Bishop’s Cross set with gemstones and enamel.
In 1904, Hemmerle opened its first boutique on the fashionable shopping street of Maximilianstrasse in Munich. In addition to medals and orders, the brothers began producing silver, military ornaments and jewellery. In 1921, Joseph and Anton’s sons joined the company. The 1970s saw the third generation of Hemmerles join the business. While honouring Hemmerle’s rich heritage, Stefan and his brother Franz introduced a more contemporary aesthetic. Their designs incorporated non-traditional materials and coloured gemstones such as tourmaline and aquamarine.
In 1993, in celebration of Hemmerle’s 100th anniversary, Stefan unveiled a magnificent Bavarian Lion brooch composed of coloured diamonds and yellow-brown sapphires. It was exhibited in Berlin to great acclaim. Two years later, Stefan and his wife Sylvie took sole control of the family business. The couple’s daring approach to jewellery ushered in a new era of avant-garde design.
In 2018, in celebration of its 125th anniversary, Hemmerle unveiled its Revived Treasures collection at Tefaf in New York. The bold, one-of-a-kind pieces drew inspiration from Egyptian civilisation and the house’s heritage as medal makers. Also noteworthy are the Hemmerle infused jewels, an experimental collection of ten pairs of earrings and three brooches inspired by the natural elements of herbal tea.
Hemmerle’s distinctive jewels can now be found in prestigious public and private collections around the world. Inspired by ancient jewellery and contemporary sculpture, the Hemmerle harmony bangle (1991) remains one of the house’s most popular designs. Hemmerle rings tend to achieve the highest prices at auction. In 2022, Christie’s sold an emerald-cut diamond Hemmerle ring for CHF 302,400. Hemmerle earrings, Hemmerle bracelets and Hemmerle brooches in the form of mushrooms also do well.