Carl Heine (1810-1865) was a lawyer in Leipzig, a major entrepreneur and industrial pioneer who transformed the western suburbs of Leipzig. The Betti Heine hospital was founded in 1839 by Carl's uncle Heinrich Heine, a Hamburg banker and merchant, and named after Carl's mother. The purpose of the hospital was to treat Jewish people but also welcomed other patients regardless of origin, nationality or religion, an unual fact in the history of Hamburg. In 1864, the hospital was in difficult financial situation but saved thanks to Carl's generous donation which allowed to cover the running costs of the institution. The hospital is still functionning and called the Israelite Hospital, a leading clinic for gastric and bowel cancer.
Heinrich Friedrich Christoph Rampendahl (1822 - 1891) was a Hamburger ivory carver and sculptor. He was most celebrated for his antler furniture for which he was awarded at the London Industrial Exhibition in 1851 and at the World Exhibition in 1862. Some are now at the Victoria and Albert Museum (number W.2-1970 and W.4-1970). A magnificent ivory and horn cup and cover was presented at the 1862 International Exhibition and was sold Sotheby's Belgravia, 11 December 1975, lot 73.
Louis Asher, originally Julius Ludwig Asher, (1804–1878) was a German artist who was born and lived in Hamburg at the exception of a few years in Düsseldorf and Italy. This is probably where he encountered the work of Giovanni Piranesi (1720-1778) after which the design of this vase is from.
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