The first foundry was commercially more successful, while the second one was using a more advanced technology of galvanic silver deposition, which was first applied in Esslingen by the German chemist Carl Haegele in , the brother-in-law of Alfred Ritter. In the same year the Esslingen factory was dismantled and its equipment was incorporated into the Geislingen foundry. During the next thirty years WMF experienced a period of rapid expansion, which lasted until the beginning of the World War in This WMF branch was mostly importing the base-metal items from Geislingen, performing silver-plating and then selling them in Russia under their own marks, see my recent article in ASCAS Newsletter .
This firm like R. Plewkiewicz company would stay under WMF until and would also produce items under its own mark.
The export of silver-plated table ware and domestic items continuously grew, which is testified by the publishing of WMF catalogues in three languages. Three consecutive editions of the English WMF catalogue were published in , and in In , the number of employees working only at Geislingen factory reaches and WMF became the largest industry producer in whole Wurtemberg. The first group of WMF marks contains the inscription composed of three letters, "W", "M", and "F", sometimes the letters "M" and "F" are joined together.
All inscriptions are made with a "sans serif" font. In some cases, the dots inside the inscription and after it are also present. The possible reason for that is discussed above. The length of "WMF" inscriptions varies in the range 3. A full WMF mark image for the first group contains the volume designation in litres 1 litre corresponds to cm3. Note a comma which is used for the volume designation.
Some secondary markings are used as well. The two-letter inscription " as " means artificial darkening of the silver surface to a nearly black colour, the so-called "antique silver finish". The second group of WMF marks contains the marks with four-letter letterings, with dots or without, which are the combinations of the word "WMF" with the following letters: Such a way of marking allows the designation of the base metal used for silvering, i. All the inscriptions are made both with "serif" rarely or "sans serif" fonts and sometimes are put in a cartouche. Older inscriptions are made with a "serif" font and put in a cartouche.
There are other varieties from this group which are not shown here, but exist in the literature, e. A full WMF mark image for the second group contains the volume designation in litres. Note the use of a fraction for designation. The two-letter inscription "OX" "oxydiert" in German, "oxidized" in English means artificial darkening of the silver surface to a grey colour. The "O" letter put in a rhombus means an increased by 1.
The size of the "O" rhombus is between 1. The double-letter inscription "gg" is an abbreviation of the German expression "ganz vergoldet", which means "entirely gilded". If there is no enough space for marking, then the special "small mark" should be applied. They are discussed in detail in my accompanying paper on WMF cutlery mark.
The letter "N" is the sign for Neusilber Alpacca , used as a base metal for silvering. The length of WMFN inscription is 3.
ᐅ➤ᐅ Dating wmf marks
The meaning of such marking is not clear. It could be the 20 year jubilee of the WMF firm or simply the celebration of the new century. There are two varieties of this mark, one antler image is strait, while the other is convex. The size of the antler mark frame is between 1. If Art Nouveau WMF item, issued in around or later, bears a full mark without any silvering designation, that means it contains no silver and has been made entirely of base metal.
Dating wmf mark
A full mark for this pattern includes a comma in the volume designation cf. Besides, there is a rectangle with digits, which correspond to the amount of silver in grams used for plating. The rectangle with 4-digit "" inscription corresponds to the year of issue. The oldest WMF export mark which was used simultaneously on hollow ware and cutlery items. It consists of a "fancy" three-letter WMF inscription, put in an oval. The peculiarity of this mark is a broken "F" letter in the WMF inscription. No secondary markings were found for this mark. The size of the oval is 1. Beautiful and very rare!
Such mark contains again a three-letter WMF inscription with dots or without preferentially , but contrary to previous mark made with a "serif" font and put in a rectangular frame. The length of the three-letter WMF inscription varies in the range 4. The two-letter inscription EP means "electroplate".
Another two-letter inscription "NS" means nickel silver Alpacca, Neusilber and serves as a designation of a base metal for silvering. The size of the "EP" box varies between 1. The size of the "NS" box varies between 1. The size of the frame for the "convex" antler mark is 1.
List of WMF Hollow Ware & Tray Marks
If exported WMF item issued around and later bears a full mark without any silvering designation, that means it contains no silver and has been made entirely of base metal. The size of the rectangle varies between 3.
A widespread mark, though it is rather difficult to find one in perfect condition. The full mark uses numerous secondary markings, all are applied in a rectangular frame. The one-letter inscription "B" means the use of Britannia metal tin-based alloy as a base metal for silvering. The size of the "B" box varies between 1.
The two-letter inscription "MB" means a combined use of both brass M and Britannia metal B as base metals. The size of the "MB" box is about 2. The absence of any base metal designations means the use of brass as a base metal.
The "M" designation alone was never used at this period. The size of the "OX" box varies between 1. The size of the " as " box varies between 1. Finally, the six-petal rosette probably means "Special order" or "Special issue". The size of this box is about 2. Some WMF items from my collection: After visiting one of such buildings on Ulloi street, , housing the Museum of Applied Arts, I dropped into a small antique shop, situated nearby, and "fell in love" with a gorgeous Art Nouveau item, a silver-plated teapot with a black Ebony handle.
So, I was forced to return back to my hotel situated on the hills on the opposite bank of the Danube , and then again back to the shop for my purchase, which turned out to be my first WMF item. This company is still active nowadays.
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The WMF history is very well documented see the references below , and I am not going to repeat it here. Marked by the inscription "WMF" or "W. Note the special shape of the "F" letter. The length of "WMF" or "W. One of the earliest WMF marks, used from until around Though quite common, it was never mentioned in literature.
Marked by the ostrich and two inscriptions "WMF" and "G" Geislingen an der Steige in a rhombus, placed in hatched rectangle. The rectangle size is 3.
Dating wmf marks
This mark was in use from around until about Marked by the ostrich and two inscriptions "WMF" and "G" Geislingen an der Steige in a rhombus, placed in hatched arch. Note the simplified shape of the "F" letter. The size of the arch varies from 1. The mark was used from until around for the items exported to France.
Marked by the ostrich and two inscriptions "WMF" and "G" Geislingen an der Steige in a rhombus, placed in a beehive with smooth round arch. The beehive size is 2.
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