Soie Pirate

Soie Pirate

The History of Abraham Ltd.

This volume tells the story of Abraham Ltd., one of the most famous companies in Switzerland’s silk trade.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Edited by the Swiss National Museum

1st edition

, 2010


208 pages, 227 color and 25 b/w illustrations

24 x 32.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-724-2


Textiles are one of Switzerland’s oldest industries, and one of the biggest names in Switzerland’s silk trade has been Abraham Ltd. This book draws from the vast archives that are now kept at the Swiss National Museum in Zürich to document the fascinating history of this influential enterprise.

Soie Pirate: The History of Abraham Ltd. tells the firm’s story, from 1878, when Jakob Abraham became a partner in the Zürich-based business Königsberger, Rüdenberg & Co., to 1943, when Gustav Zumsteg became a partner, through the company’s mid-twentieth-century heyday, and finally to 2002, the year Abraham Ltd. ceased operations. Along the way, readers are introduced to a host of fascinating people, including Zumsteg’s mother, Hulda Zumsteg, who ran the legendary Kronenhalle restaurant in downtown Zürich.

The book was published to coincide with an exhibition at the Swiss National Museum in Zürich.


Also available as a two-volume set with Soie Pirate: The Fabric Designs of Abraham Ltd.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Matthias Georg

Joya Tiziana Indermühle

Tanya Karrer

Barbara Keller

, geographer and has been curator of exhibitions at the Swiss Alpine Museum since 2011.

Isabel Koellreuter

Bettina Köhler

Elke Mürau

Daniele Muscionico

Michelle Nicol

Sigrid Pallmert

 (1957–2012) has been curator of textiles, costume, jewelery, and toys at the Swiss National Museum / Landesmuseum Zürich.

Christian Spies

Juri Steiner

, born 1969, studied art history, German literature, and philosophy at University of Zürich. He lives and works is a freelance publicist and curator in Switzerland. He was Director of Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern 2006–10.

Karin Wälchli

Martin Widmer