Skip navigation

Object Name: Flat graver
Date: ca. 1900
Related People:
Medium: Wood, steel and iron
Dimensions: Overall: 3 7/8 x 1 7/8 in. (9.8 x 4.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Bernard Bernstein
Object Number: 2012.23.4
Send to a Friend
Marks: Top of knob handle marked "FLAT" by the donor

Gallery Label:

Adalbert Emil Herrman Nordbrock was a New York City silversmith active during the first half of the twentieth century. Nordbrock was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1885. He settled in the New York area and lived there and in New Jersey during his lifetime. As evidenced by his surviving certificate, Nordbrock completed a five-year apprenticeship with Tiffany & Co. at the firm's Prince Street Factory in June 1893. Six years later he married Johanna Fischer (1880-before 1940), also a German immigrant. The couple settled initially in the Bronx and then relocated to Newark, New Jersey, where they lived with Fischer's family. With Manhattan's silver industry in decline and Newark's on the rise, the move was probably motivated by the availability of work. Nordbrock's graver illustrates the types of tools used for finishing processes silversmiths during the period.

These early twentieth-century tools were donated by New York silversmith Bernard Bernstein. Bernstein purchased them from Nordbrock's grandson, Charles Carcano (b. 1932), in about 1997 and used them for his own silversmithing work. Nordbrock, following the age-old tradition, may have made these tools as part of his silversmith training.