Johann Philipp
Ferdinand Preiss
(1882 Erbach -
1943 Berlin)

German ivory sculptor

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Ferdinand Preiss was born 1882 in Erbach (Germany). After the death of his parents, when Ferdinand was 15 years old, he lived with the family of the famous ivory carver Philipp Willmann, where he was trained to be an ivory carver. In 1901 he travelled to Mailand, Rome and Paris. He later founded an ivory-carving business with Arthur Kassler with a workshop in Berlin. Their speciality were limited editions of Art Deco-style cabinet sculptures which combined ivory with painted bronze. A large proportion of the production was exported from Germany to England and the USA.

Preiss, Dreams. C. 1920s - 1930s

Dreams. C. 1920s - 1930s



Preiss, Dancer with tambourine. About 1900.

Dancer with tambourine. About 1900.

Aphrodite. C. 1925.

Aphrodite. C. 1925.

Preiss, Vanity. C. 1925.

Vanity. C. 1925.

Preiss, Signature.


Ignaz Preiss created mainly reliefs. He was concentrated on a few main themes: mythological episodes, battle scenes from antiquity and scenes of the Old Testament. Also he produced some sculptures.

Ferdinand Preiss is regarded as one of the leading ivory carvers of the Art Deco scene. His ivory-bronze carvings are among the most costly in the world. Do you think you own a work by Ferdinand Preiss? Contact us. We are the ivory experts on Ferdinand Preiss.