Brothers, and - at the time - art students, Hannes (aka John) and Haimo Steinböck, founded the Austrian Steinböck-Email Studio in 1951. Translated to English, the name means Steinböck Enamel. The studio was the first of its kind.
The Steinböck Enamel Studio made high quality enameled things - like trays, vases, jewelry, art for churches and various special orders. Only the finest materials were used, including 24 carat gold. Vienna’s famous artists even met at the studio to experiment with the cutting edge material - enamel. Soon, Steinböck-Email Austria was world famous, and a hot tip for tourist guides. It thrived from the 1950’s until the 1980’s.
In the 1980’s, a variety of factors converged and business took a turn for the worse. The Studio shrank from 100 employees to only 20 (including family members). Additionally, the production method changed from solely hand painting, to handprinting combined with handpainting - but the quality materials didn't change - including 24 carat gold for both printing and plating the Studio’s wares.
The two senior founders retired and their sons, Michael & Peter Steinböck took over. That only lasted a couple of years, however. The sons soon sold the factory, and in 1993, Austria’s groundbreaking Steinböck-Email Studio closed its doors permanently.
The beautiful pieces of enamel ware art Steinböck-Email Austria produced are coveted today by collectors. Because they were only produced for a relatively short time (about 45 years), the pieces are few and far between and becoming more difficult to find as time goes by.