The early years
Rosenstiel was a well-known figure in the German Art World during
the 19th century. He often travelled to London on behalf of a
picture framing company and developed a sound knowledge of the
London Framing and Art world. In 1880 he moved to London with his
wife Josephine and established an Art and Framing business in the
The struggle to create his own business took a toll on Felix's
health and few years later, in 1895, he suffered a fatal heart
attack. Then, Josephine decided to carry on the young business
after his demise.
By this time, the Rosenstiel's reputation had grown and business
flourished. Josephine honoured her promise to continue Felix's
work, and when her eldest son Percy reached 15, she brought him
into the company. The success of this experience, and the great
business sense of her son, encouraged her to do the same a few
years later with Edgar, her younger son. The trading name was
altered to Felix Rosenstiel's Widow and Son.
The War Years
As the First World War ended, the austere years and the
depression that followed were treated by Rosenstiel's as a
challenge and an opportunity for diversification. So, the Roe
brothers (the family name was changed from the Germanic Rosenstiel
to the English Roe during the First World War) spent the next
decade exploring fields far away from the roots of the company,
such as painted mirrors, coasters, calendars and table mats…
Their determination was rewarded, but sadly Edgar died in 1942
and Percy found himself running the business alone. By 1945,
much of Rosenstiel's property had been destroyed by the war and
materials were almost impossible to obtain.
Percy threw himself into a wholehearted effort to restore the
prosperity of the pre-war years, aided by his two eldest sons,
Jervis and Peter who had returned after their war service.
By the early fifties, Percy had ensured Rosenstiel's destiny and
he died in 1953.
Peter and Jervis continued as partners until 1957, when
Rosenstiel's became a limited company. The 1960s marked the
beginning of a long period of growing public interest in
reproduction prints, and Rosenstiel's gave people the opportunity
to own quality reproductions of paintings by old masters and
introduced many talented young artists.
1965 saw the
next generation join the business when the company's current
Managing Director, David Roe, Jervis's son and great-grandson of
Felix, decided to join the company. David's part was to establish
firmer links with existing export customers and discover new fields
abroad. His drive has taken Rosenstiel's to over 100 countries and
culminated in the grant of the prestigious Queen's Award For
Export Achievement in 1993. David's son, Nicolas, works in the
business representing the fifth generation.
Over the years, Rosenstiel's has taken over a number of
publishing companies such as the world-renowned company of Stehli
Freres of Switzerland. Stehli was founded in Geneva in 1902 and
enjoyed a reputation for quality and service throughout the world.
The owners felt that Rosenstiel's had a sufficiently similar ethos
to ensure the continuation of the same high levels of quality.
Along with many other
prestigious awards, in 2007 Rosenstiel's was honoured to
be granted a second Queen's Award for Enterprise. This highly
unusual second award was presented by Her Majesty The Queen at
Buckingham Palace in July 2007.
130 years and many more to come…
In October 2010, Rosenstiel's was proud to celebrate the 130
years of the creation of the company.
Five young people represent the sixth generation and give hope
for the continuance of the company for generations to come...