Little information can be found about the sculptor, painter and designer Hermann Gradl (the elder). What is certain is that he was born in Dillingen in 1869, but little is known about his education. Gradl worked for Nymphenburg from 1899 to 1905. In the first year of this collaboration Gradl designed the extravagant fish service BELLE EPOQUE for the porcelain manufactory - consisting of 16 plates, a fish platter, sauce boat and potato bowl, all of which are painted with various stylized fish motifs. It was presented for the first time in 1900 at the Paris World Exhibition, where it was awarded the "Grand Prix" as one of the most successful examples of Art Nouveau.