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Twenty years before the STOFF Nagel candle holder ever saw the light of day, an idea glistened within the Nagel family. They were deeply affected by the recent end of World War II and the repeated bombings that had largely leveled the nearby city Cologne to the ground. Thousands of people became homeless and the little family could only look on while the spirit of their village was drained and many neighbors moved away.

In an effort to create a new livelihood, the four Nagel brothers were sent out into the darkness of night to collect empty American cartridge cases. The brass cartridge cases were plentiful enough for their blacksmith father to transform the war remnants into ashtrays, vases and candle holders.

It is unknown whether it was the father’s ingenuity or their childhood steeped in metalwork that later inspired the sons of the family to apply to the Cologne Art School, but surely they all shared their father’s passion for art and design.

One of the Nagel sons became a painter and sculptor, another a silversmith, but it was Hans Nagel who served as CEO of the small family company, determined to pursue his father’s work, fueled by a creative streak and a penchant for details.

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