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Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu,
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silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver,
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marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs,
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HISTORY AND MARKS
The business was founded by Nicolaus Christoph Robbe (1843-1916) who in 1874 opened a silver workshop in Angelburger Street, Flengsburg (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany).
The business prospered and in 1897 Robbe opened a fifty-percent partnership with his son-in-law Robert Berking (1872-1908). Berking was a master silversmith from
Braunschweig with entrepreneurial talent and technical and artistic mastery. He developed the first cutlery designs of the company, expanded the trading area and built new company's headquarters in Sophienstrasse, modernizing production and adopting updated tools and machinery.
Robert Berking died in a bathing accident in 1908 at the age of 35. His young widow, Henriette Robbe, heir of Berking's 50% of the company, took over the management supported by her father Nicolaus Christoph Robbe and by her brother Arnold Robbe (1883-1956).
Henriette divided her fifty-percent share between her two young sons, Theodor (1899-1964) and Nicolaus Berking (1900-1947). At the death of Nicolaus Robbe (1916) his fifty-percent share was inherited by Arnold Robbe who became equal partner with his nephews Theodor and Nicolaus Berking.
The location of Flensburg, near the border of the neutral Denmark, spared the company from the most devastating effects of the war status during World
War I but the special import and export rules and regulations introduced by Denmark and Germany after the war caused economic hardships to Robbe & Berking.
In 1925 Theodor Berking took over management of the company after a two-year traineeship at M.H. Wilkens in Bremen. During the 40 years of his management the small workshop was transformed into one of the northern Germany main silverware manufacture attaining a workforce of 100 employees.
The firm survived the difficulties of WWII and continued silverware manufacture profiting from the boom years following the currency reform in 1949.
The number of employees grew, leading to the moving to a larger factory building in the Zur Bleiche street in 1956.
Arnold Robbe retired from the management of the firm in 1950s and at his death (1956) his fifty-percent of the company was inherited by his wife, Lili Robbe and their two sons, Kurt Robbe (1910-1987) and Johannes Robbe (1918-1989).
In 1957 Robert Berking (son of Theodor), after a business-oriented education and training at the silver manufacturer Bruckmann & Söhne, assumed the management of the company. His career lasted until the mid 1990s and in this period many new patterns of his own design or created by various silver designers were introduced by the firm. The collection of flatware patterns was expanded with hollowware designs, such as coffee and tea services.
From 1997 the company is managed by Oliver Berking (born 1962), son of Robert Berking and great-great-grandson of Nicolaus Robbe, continuing a five generation tradition of craftsmanship and high-quality merchandise.
This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of
Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about
antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver,
silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles,
books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington),
history, oddities ...|
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