What's It Worth? When Art And Utility Intersect
On occasion, companies with a long history are difficult to define due their ability to change and keep up with the times or the style of the day.
There are few companies that fit this description better than WMF or Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik. (A mouthful to say, but I can actually pronounce it. Kind of).
WMF started back in 1880 after two firms merged (one more artistic and one more utilitarian) in Würtemberg, Germany.
Over the years, they have c. manufactured simple tools for the masses as well as unusual, incredibly artistic pieces. All made of various types of white metal, including odd alloys and even superior silverplate.
The cool thing about collecting WMF is that even simple pieces like the porcelain art deco-inspired silverplate pitcher shown (a., value $50 to $100), which we purchased 2 weeks ago from a Tampa retiree, can be used every day. And they are typically efficient and easy to use.
But over the years, the white metal or silverplated artistic works from various eras can be worth thousands of dollars – like the two centerpieces shown. The figural centerpiece (b.) is valued at $750 to $1,250 (more if retail) and the tall silverplated art nouveau wine ewer (c., circa 1910) is valued at $1,000 to $1,500 if in mint condition.
Just about anything signed WMF has value. And the cool thing is that unlike many collectibles, you can use these pieces. Every day. Yes, they’re artistic, but they are useful as well.
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