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
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
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
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
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
Krupp Milano marks
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- M.V. Gastaldi, Le Italiche Armi… della Mensa,
L’Illustrazione Italiana, 1927, Vol.53, No.3, pp.54-59 (in
- 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,
- 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 -