WMF - Würtemburgische Machin Fabrik
(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2017. Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
Helpful comments are very welcome.
WMF (originally Würtemburgische Machin Fabrik AG), originally founded in 1853 in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany. In 1880 there was an amalgamation of Straub & Sohn and A Ritter & Co. and the factory became famous for domestic and art metalware with an appropriate change of name to Würtemburgische Metallwaren Fabrik AG.
A variety of marks have been used during their 150 years of production. The well known 'ostrich' mark originates from the German word for ostrich, 'Der Strauss' after Daniel Straub, one of the founders. The 'G' in the mark stands for the town of Geislingen, on the River Fils and near Ulm in Baden-Württemburg.
This beehive mark was introduced in 1909. A version of the beehive with clear top was introduced in 1910 for the French market.
The company also bought out AK & Cie (Albert Kőhler und Cie), Orivit AG of Kőln (Cologne) and Orion Kunstgewerbliche Metallwarenfabrik. Designers included Hans Peter, Albert Meyer, Herman Obrist, Albin Műller and Peter Behrens.
This WMF mark with horizontal bars was used from 1928-1935. The photo comes from the underside of a crumb tray.
This early mark is accepted as in use up to 1914. It is said to have been been imitated at times.
A rare 'WMF.M' mark on an 1884 specially engraved brass 'Stammtisch' (charger). The 'M' was sometimes used to indicate that the metal was brass (German - 'Messing) during the years 1880-1918. (See Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver page - ref below)
This WMF Ikora mark on an enamelled copper vase, 1925-1950.
ISKRA mark with crossed storks found on a server for Turkish coffee.
The modern WMF Ikora mark with variation, double struck. The stylised tower is derived from the emblem of Geislingen, a local landmark defensive tower.
Further details of the marks are included in "Art Nouveau Domestic Metalwork from Wurttembergische Metallwaren Fabrik 1906" catalogue.WMF.
The firm is still making good cookware. This simple version of the Art Deco mark was registered in 1965 . Before that there had been an Art Deco WMF in beehive – 1925-1935 and Art Deco WMF in clear top beehive 1935 – 1965. The company now employs 5,500 people.
T +49 0 73 31 - 25 1
Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver - ASCAS page on wmf marks.