The building owners

Die Familie family- artistic appreciation and successful entrepreneurship

Herbert Eugen Esche (1874 – 1962) was born into a family of respected textile manufacturers, whose roots in nearby Limbach date back to the 17th Century. His ancestor Johann Esche (1682 – 1752) deserves the credit for being the cornerstone of one of the most successful companies in the Saxon textile industry and THE leading German stocking manufacturer, with his design of the first functional stocking maker's stool in Germany.

Herbert Esche was joint owner of the company Moritz Samuel Esche which after its establishment in Limbach operated from 1870 onwards in Chemnitz and expanded into the largest stocking manufacturer in Germany with offices from Boston to Shanghai. The company's international reputation was, among other things, already documented with the appointment of his great uncle, Theodor Esche, as juror for the world exhibitions in Paris and London.

However, the commitment of the entire Esche family, in terms of their artistic, public and social interests also left a great many traces. A number of foundations could be traced back to the Esche family, which was widely dispersed throughout Limbach and Chemnitz. Several family members also followed the example set by Herbert and Hanni [Johanna] Esche and surrounded themselves in their personal environment with designs by the great Belgian designer, Henry van de Velde:

  • Even today, Anna-Esche-Straße in Limbach remains reminiscent of the works of the wife of Dr Carl Julius Esche and grandmother of Herbert Esche.

  • Herbert's father Eugen Moritz Esche was a member of the Landtag (state parliament) for Saxony. His foundation provided long-term and deserving employees from the company Moritz Samuel Esche with adequate retirement accommodation on Forststraße in Chemnitz.

  • After the death of his father, Herbert's brother Fritz Esche took a position at the Chemnitz Kunsthütte (Art Hut), and was later joined by Herbert Esche.

  • In 1907, Fritz Esche likewise commissioned the Belgian designer Henry van de Velde to build a modern clubhouse for the Chemnitz Lawn Tennis Club C. L. T. C. For furnishing his villa, Fritz Esche placed his trust in Bruno Paul.

  • In 1914, van de Velde designed a prestigious villa for Herbert Esche's brother-in-law, Dr. Theodor Koerner jr., on Beyerstraße in Chemnitz, inclusive of all interior decorations.

  • In 1908, van de Velde realised a design for the Councillor of Commerce and City Councillor, Theodor Koerner sr., owner of the ink manufacturing company, Eduard Leopold Beyer, and father of Hanni [Johanna] Esche, diagonally opposite the two-storey hall of his villa in neo-renaissance style.

  • Among other things, Herbert Esche's brother Alfred Esche acquired silverware following the designs of van de Velde.

  • Brother Arnold Esche had inherited the Esche family estate in Lauterbach near to Crimmitschau and, in 1907 – 1909, likewise had some rooms redesigned and modernised by van de Velde.

  • In October 1905, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch was invited to visit Herbert Esche at Villa Esche and create portraits of, among others, Esche's children.

  • Paintings by Paul Signac, Alfred Partikel, Vincent van Gogh, Lovis Corinth and Willy Jaeckel were included within Herbert and Hanni [Johanna] Esche's collection.


Short Biography of H. E. Esche

Family tree