The quality of his workmanship and design was recognized at the New Zealand Exhibition of 1865, held in Dunedin, where his silverware and jewellery won first prize. For the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Adelaide in 1867, Wendt's firm produced four presentation caskets; the duke commissioned further work and appointed him 'Jeweller to His Royal Highness' in the colony of South Australia. Wendt's staff had expanded to include twelve silversmiths and in 1869 he opened another shop at Mount Gambier. That year on Christmas Day at his North Terrace home he married with Unitarian forms Johanna Maria Caroline, late Koeppen, née Ohlmeyer, a widow with four children.
Wendt's silverwork included extravagant naturalistic creations, stylish Edwardian domestic designs and pieces which showed restrained Regency taste. At its best, it ranks with the finest produced in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century. Among his important commissions was the salver presented to E. M. Young in 1870 (now held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra); Wendt also submitted a pair of prize-winning epergnes to the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1878. Commercial success encouraged him in 1888 to open a further branch at Broken Hill, New South Wales; his model of the Block 10 mine was executed five years later. In 1901 he supervised the production of the silver casket which was presented by the citizens of Adelaide to the Duke of York. Seeking profitable investments, Wendt became a member of the syndicates that built the Adelaide Arcade (which he subsequently owned) and the Theatre Royal in Hindley Street.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.