The German sculptor worked in Paris and Rome in the first half of the 20th Century. At the age of 15 he worked under the famed ivory carver Philip Willman.

He became friends with Arthur Kassler and went on to start Preiss & Kassler in Berlin.

The company started crafting ivory carvings of children and small statues and then from 1910 the company began to produce limited edition Art Deco cabinet sculptures.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.13.23 Ferdinand Preiss, Con Brio

Preiss most famous works depict modern 20th century women from the world of sports and theatre, such as this example on sale at Toovey's.

At the outbreak of World War I, in 1914 the company employed six extremely skilled ivory carvers from Erbach and set up a small factory in England to assemble the sculptures.