Exquisite & RARE antique to vintage 1910-1920 hallmarked WMF 11 3/4" tall liquor tantalus, silver plate with an Art Deco influenced style casing three gorgeous original wheel cut crystal decanters, working lock and original key, too! What a beautiful piece! Elegant silver-plated caddy or case, hallmarks on the bottom for WMF that date between 1910-1920, right around the time where Art Deco became quite popular. WMF is the abbreviation for Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, which in English means Wurtemberg Metalware Factory. The history of this foundry is well documented. WMF was created in 1880 after the successful merger of two Wurtemberg foundries, the Geislingen factory belonging to Daniel Straub (Straub & Sohn) and the Esslingen factory of Alfred Ritter (A. Ritter & Co.). The first foundry was commercially more successful, while the second one was using a more advanced technology of galvanic silver deposition, which was first applied in Esslingen by the German chemist Carl Haegele (in 1871), the brother-in-law of Alfred Ritter. In 1881, after the retirement of Daniel Straub, Carl Haegele became the managing director of WMF. In the same year the Esslingen factory was dismantled and its equipment was incorporated into the Geislingen foundry. During the next thirty years WMF experienced a period of rapid expansion, which lasted until the beginning of the World War in 1914. The WMF silver-plated production made in around 1900-1910 is extremely popular among western antiques collectors. This is because these tableware and household items are considered as the best samples of Art Nouveau style, which is also known as Jugendstil in Germany and Secession in Austro-Hungary. Every year the famous London publisher Dorling Kindersley Ltd. issues an Antique Price Guide, which reflects the current situation on the British antique market. Inside this book two whole pages are devoted to silver-plated WMF items. At the same time, other renowned European producers of silver plate, such as Charles Christofle (France), August Wellner Soehne (Germany), Arthur Krupp Berndorf (Austria-Hungary) are not mentioned at all. Also, if you do a quick internet search for WMF tantalus, there are only one or two that come up. One that is quite plain and smaller than this is priced at $1800. A spectacular example here, truly in remarkable condition and guaranteed to please! Rare, don't miss it!
Very good to excellent condition. I see no wear, loss or bubbling to the thick silver plating. Possibly a tiny nip or two to the decanters but no chips, cracks or damage to note. There is a bit of white residue visible in the center decanter. I haven't tried any cleaners to see if they will come out but, even if not they would surely be nearly invisible with the decanters filled. Working lock with original old shaped skeleton key. The caddy and decanters have a total weight of 8 lbs 9 oz (3.9 kg). See pictures for all measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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