J.M. van Kempen was a Dutch silversmith who worked in Utrecht and later in Voorschote.
J.M. van Kempen (1814–1877) started the J.M. van Kempen silver factory in Utrecht in 1835. It was run traditionally, with a focus on quality. In 1858, it moved to Voorschoten. The Dutch hired English craftsmen to teach them how to make forks and spoons using the new methods. Under the direction of L.J.S. van Kempen (1838–1910), a separate studio was set up to make both big and small sculptures as well as silverwork parts that were made by machines. It grew to be the oldest and biggest silver factory in the Netherlands. Between 1845-1903, G.W. van Dokkum worked as a draughtsman and modeller. J.L. Bernhardie was the firm’s chief draftsperson from 1858 to 1886. He was replaced by H.J. Valk, who worked at van Kempen from 1886 to 1924.
The company didn’t hire outside artists until the 1800s when Th. K.L. Sluyterman designed Art Nouveau pieces. Around 1900, the firm’s high-quality items had Art Nouveau features, but it specialised in boring classical designs. In 1919, C.J. Begeer joined forces with J.M. van Kempen en Zoon and J. Vos, a jeweller, to form Van Kempen, Begeer en Vos.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL
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