In 1862 the Dusseldorf based Kayser family, already in the tin industry, opened a new foundry in the Bockum district of Krefeld. The firm reached its maximum size in 1899 with a workforce of 400. The Krefeld foundry run by Jean Kayser was devoted to mass production, whereby the designs originated from the Cologne studio of Englebert Kayser.
At the world exhibitions in Paris (1900), Turin (1902), Dusseldorf and St.Louis (1904), the company enjoyed great success with its "Kayserzinn" or "Kayser pewter", a special lead-free alloy of tin and silver distinguished by its lasting gleam - success which it owed to its outstanding designers: Karl Geyer (1858-1912), Hermann Fauser(1874-1947), Karl Berghof(1881-1967) and others, but their main designer and artistic director was Hugo Leven (1874-1956).
The decors they designed were inspired by both floral French Art Nouveau and by linear Jugendstil. It was the Kayser company's aim, through its use of the methods of mass production, to make artistically designed, contemporary Jugenstil objects of daily use, such as candlesticks, ashtrays, lamps, beakers, vases, tea and coffee sets, accessible to a broad selection of the public. The artistic significance of Kayserzinn died with the death of Engelbert Kayser in 1911. Kayserzinn objects in pewter are numbered from the number "4000" onwards and marked with the word "Kayserzinn". All objects were marked this way, either in a circular or oval frame, or horizontally. The model number "4000" was introduced in 1894-5 and the last, number "4999" was produced in 1925.
This fabulous Kayserzinn pewter flagon/tankard, circa 1896, displays a lovely Art Nouveau design of a large iris blossom with long slender leaves on one side and two equally beautiful lily blossoms and leaves on the other. The finial on the lid is in the shape of a 3-dimensional lily flower. The front of the flagon/tankard is engraved with the initials "JE" which in no way detracts from the beauty of the piece. The item measures an impressive 14 3/4" in height; 9" from handle to spout and 7 1/2" across the base. It is marked "Kayserzinn 4085" within a circular mark on the base. Wonderful original patina, beautiful chasing with no splits, broken pieces or scratches. Great Art Nouveau piece with gorgeous details throughout.