A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU

an article of Prof. David N. Nikogosyan,
University College Cork, Cork, Ireland,
for ASCAS - Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver
a small collection of antique silver and objects of vertu
A list of articles on European continental silver plate marks collected by Prof. David N. Nikogosyan, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
 
(click on photos to enlarge image)

MARKS OF EUROPEAN SILVER PLATE:
V.   KRUPP & WELLNER, ITALY

In the mid-twenties of XX century, the branches of two renowned silver plate companies, Artur Krupp, Berndorf, Austria and August Wellner Söhne, Aue, Germany (see my recent papers in Silver Magazine) were opened in Italy, in Milan (Milano) and Florence (Firenze), respectively. I found my first Krupp Milano piece in Moscow antique shop in 2003. Pure art deco forms of this little creamer amazed me and I immediately bought it for about 50 US $. Later, I purchased a lot of later replicas of this item made in Berndorf (Austria), Esslingen (Germany), Lucern (Switzerland) during 1935-1980. This circumstance however didn?t surprise me since I discovered from Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk's and Claudia Kanowski's "Silver Bible" that this creamer was produced in 1935 and the creator of this beautiful object was the famous Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti (1891-1979).
A 15 cl silver-plated creamer designed by Gio Ponti.
On the contrary, it took me a lot of time (and money!) to acquire my first Wellner Firenze piece. I found it on ebay auction held in New-York in the end of 2008. The problem with Wellner Firenze is that this company was involved in supplying the great Italian Transatlantic Shipping Companies with the hotel silver and such pieces are very sought after by many people collecting maritime history. My piece shown below was used by the famous Cosulich line, based in Trieste, which made regular voyages to both North and South America. Therefore, it is marked by the logo consisting of the large ?C? letter with "Savoy knot" under the crown.
A 7 cl Wellner Firenze creamer with the logo of Cosulich line.

Now a few words about the history of these two firms. The branch of Arthur Krupp, called Societa Anonima (shortly S.A.) Italiana Metalli ed Argenteria Arthur Krupp (private company Metal- and Silver Factory Arthur Krupp), was open after 1924. The factory was operated in Desenzano al Serio near Milan (Milano), while the administration and the warehouse were situated in the city centre near the Milan Central Railway Station at Via Pergolesi 8-10. The large part of the production was exported (mostly to Jugoslavia). The production included a special Italian flatware pattern ("un modello di posate tutto italiano"), which was highly appreciated by Vienna customers. The Arthur Krupp Milano company survived until 1974, when it was absorbed by Sambonet. It should be noted that Gio Ponti actively cooperated with Argenteria Krupp from the beginning of the thirties until the beginning of fifties. Below, I am presenting some other pieces from my collection designed by this famous master.
Krupp Milano items from my collection: first row (left) 25 cl sugar bowl, (right) 15 cl creamer
from "Hotel Sporting Roma"; second row (left) 28 cl coffee-pot marked by "Jolly Hotels CIATSA",
(right) 20 cl milk can marked by "Jolly Hotels CIATSA". Gio Ponti designed all the items, except
the second one.

Little is known about the Wellner Firenze. This branch of Wellner, called S.A. Italiana Argenteria Wellner Firenze (private company Italian Silver Factory Wellner Florence), was open in Firenze-Rifredi around 1925. It was open at least until the beginning of the forties. Below are the images of two advertisements for Krupp Milano and Wellner Firenze found on the Internet.
The advertisements of the Argenteria Krupp and Argenteria Wellner.

Below, I am presenting some silver plate marks of Krupp Milano and Wellner Firenze, which I have in my disposal. Certainly, this short note is only a first step to study these marks and a more detailed investigation might be needed in the future. The author wants to thank Giorgio Busetto for his cooperation.
Krupp Milano marks
 
MARK

 
COMMENT

 
 
1
 
Krupp mark used until about 1930
Used until about 1930. Marked by the inscription "ART.KRUPP MILANO" inside the circle of 3.9 mm in diameter. There is an intermediate dot between the "T"and "K" letters, as well as the separating horizontal dots. A standing bear profile with two paws out.
 
2
 
Krupp mark used  from 1930 until 1938
Used from 1930 until 1938. Marked by the inscription "ART.KRUPP MILANO" inside the circle of 5.8 mm in diameter. There is an intermediate dot between the "T" and "K" letters, as well as the separating horizontal dots. A walking bear profile with a single paw.
 
3
 
Krupp mark used between 1938 and 1945






Krupp mark used  between 1938 and 1945
Used between 1938 and 1945. Marked by the inscription "ART. KRUPP MILANO" inside the circle of 3.5-3.6 mm in diameter. The separating horizontal dots between the "M" and "A" letters and between the ?O? and ?P? letters are absent. A walking bear profile with two paws out. Accompanied by "KRUPP" and "MILANO" words on the side. The length of "KRUPP" word is 5.2-5.9 mm, while the ratio of this length to the height of the "R" letter in this word is 3.4-4.4.
 
4
 
Krupp mark used after 1945
Used after 1945. Marked by the bear profile inside the circle of 2.9 mm in diameter. Accompanied by "ARTHUR" and "KRUPP" words on the side and by the "MILANO" word below the circle. The length of "KRUPP" word is 5.8 mm, while the ratio of this length to the height of the "R" letter in this word is 4.5.

 
Wellner Firenze marks
 
MARK

 
COMMENT

 
 
5
 
Wellner mark used  from mid-twenties until mid-thirties
Used from mid-twenties until mid-thirties. Marked with two words "WELLNER FIRENZE" in a cartouche. The length of "WELLNER" word is 9.3 mm, while the ratio of this length to the height of the "E" ;letter in this word is 4.4. The diameter of the circle is 3.4 mm.
 
6
 
Wellner mark used  from mid-thirties until mid-forties
Used from mid-thirties until mid-forties. Marked with three words "ARGENTERIA WELLNER FIRENZE" plus "AWF" designation in a square box. The length of "WELLNER" word is 5.5 mm, while the ratio of this length to the height of the "E" letter in this word is 5.9. The diameter of the circle is 1.6 mm (for single-digit numbers). The size of a square box is 2.2 x 3.5 mm.
LITERATURE
- M.V. Gastaldi, Le Italiche Armi? della Mensa, L?Illustrazione Italiana, 1927, Vol.53, No.3, pp.54-59 (in Italian).
- David N. Nikogosyan, Marks of Silverplated Hollowware Made by the Berndorf Metalware Factory in Austria, Silver Magazine, 2008, Vol.40, No.3, pp.34-41; Correction, Silver Magazine, 2008, Vol.40, No.4, p.11.
- David N. Nikogosyan, Marks of Silverplated Items Made by Wellner Metalware Factory, Silver Magazine, 2009, Vol.41, No.2, pp.18-27.
- Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk and Claudia Kanowski, Modern Art of Metallwork (Berlin: Bröhan Museum, 2001), 1-598.
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan,
University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
- 2009 -
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