George Jakob Hunzinger

George grew up in Tuttlingen in the province of Württemberg, Germany and emigrated to America in 1855. Sometimes mentioned as George "Jacob" Hunzinger, his middle name is accurately depicted as "Jakob" as is evidenced by his marriage certificate.

Hunzinger is famous for his innovative patented furniture in the Renaissance Revival style. Although his work belongs in this category, his work is so unique it stands alone as a category unto itself.

Hunzinger and his heirs amassed a collection of 20 patents through 1899, the first of which was for an improved reclining chair in 1861. It was manufactured under the name of C. Henry Glinsman, possibly Hunzinger's employer at the time. Before setting out on his own, Hunzinger also worked for Auguste Pottier of Herter, Pottier & Company and Pottier and Stymus fame.

Trademark elements of Hunzinger pieces are a unique front diagonal brace, conical terminations, decorative balls, carved and incised circular medalions, metal banding for seats and seat backs and the famous lollipop designs. Hunzinger pieces are frequently branded with his name and patent number.

Hunzinger is frequently incorrectly linked as the maker of pieces by Merklen Brothers, whose spiral turned legs and decoration adorned most of their pieces.

There was a fire in 1877 that destroyed Hunzinger's factory to the tune of $238,000 in losses as well as damaging neighboring structures including one for the venerable firm of Alexander Roux.

George married Marie Susanne Grieb December 25th, 1859. They had two sons, George Jr. and Alfred, as well as six daughters.

© 2010 Rare Victorian

Other References

Victorian Cabinetmakers