Jos. Laredo

Kunst und Kunsthandwerk Kaufhaus Joseph Laredo

Kaiserbazar, Kaiserstraße 5-7 Würzburg, Bavaria

Galanteriewarengeschäft, Kunstgewerbe- und Luxuswarengeschäft / Haberdashery business, Modern Art and Luxury Goods Store

Joseph Laredo (b.12/9/1845 - d.21/1/1907) was born to the Sephardic Rabbi family, of Moses and Maria Laredo, in Tangier, Morocco. In 1874 he settled in Würzburg and was married in 1878 to Jeanette Gutheim (16/4/1855 - d.circa 1950, Chile), who originated from Ungedanken in Hesse. Joseph Laredo had been a merchant, selling his oriental goods in a Turkish Bazaar attached to travelling fairs and markets. However in 1877 he opened a haberdashery business in the elegant and modern Kaiserstraße 5-7, named the "Kaiserbazar". This  business eventually evolved into the "Kunst und Kunsthandwerk Kaufhaus Joseph Laredo". During this time he became a naturalised citizen of Würzburg. His business became the specialty shop for art and craft items, housewares, lamps etc. 

On the 26th December 1878 the Laredo's had a son, Oskar Moses, who was educated in Würzburg and then did one years's military service. His professional training came from initially working in his father's business and then further commercial experience in Berlin, London and Paris. Oskar initially started his own business in Bad Kissingen, but took over the family business, upon the death of his father, in 1907. On the 11th November 1912 his mother Jeanette, who was part owner of the business, was appointed Königlich-bayerische Hoflieferanten. At this time they has about 20 employees. Oskar, during WW1 volunteered for the ambulance services and then the Würzburg fire department, however in 1916 he was conscripted into the army, where he became an officer candidate and won an Iron Cross. After the war he was a supporter of the Weimar Republic and against Communism. He supported many Jewish organisations and became Chairman of the Central Association of German Luxury and Leather Goods Stores, Chairman of the Retailers of Lighting Industries in Würzburg and a board member of the Würzburg Retail Association. He was also a strong promoter of the Modern Arts. However by 1929 he had run into financial difficulties. His sister Herta Kronheim (b.17/8/93) had been arrested in 1933 as a KPD member and Oskar was likewise accused of being a Communist. He was therefore arrested on several occasions, once for dismissing staff due to lack of business. He was forced to sell his business in July 1935. On March 23, 1936 he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp until 19 April 1937. He was released only on the condition he immediately emigrated. So he sold his house at Keesburgstraße 29 well below its value, but had to spend that on the purchase price of travel tickets, so they they could join their second and third sons, Walter and Hanns Günter (aka Gary b.1921 - d.1979) in the USA. The elder son Josef had emigrated to France in 1933. Oskar Laredo and his wife Else (b.22/10/1883) settled in New York, where Oskar worked as a clerk at the New York Graphic Society. Else died on the 28th April 1948, Oskar Laredo followed her on the 8th December 1966. There is today an Oskar-Laredo-Platz in Würzburg as a commemoration to Oskar Laredo.

Purchased steins from: Merkelbach & Wick

References: Würzbergwiki  Google books 

Jos. Laredo 3Promotional stamp for Jos. Laredo, dated after Nov. 1912
Jos. Laredo 1Stein, dated between 1913 - 1921, by Merkelbach & Wick, showing the Marienberg fortress in Würzburg,
Kunst und Kunsthandwerk Kaufhaus Joseph Laredo 21-2-22-1 Joseph and Jeanette Laredo, circa 1880.
Jos. Laredo 2Basemark on featured stein showing the impressed mark of Merkelbach & Wick and the ink stamp for Jos. Laredo, and showing their Hoflieferant status.

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