The Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik—or WMF—is a German metal workshop founded in Geislingen an der Steige in 1853. Geislingen is a village “on the rise” (an der Steige) of a mountainous trade route through the Swabian Alps. Although the village is many centuries old, it really grew in the mid Nineteenth Century when a railway was built into and through the steep mountain terrain. This allowed WMF to prosper despite its remote location—removed, as it was, from the canals and rivers that earlier manufacturers required to bring-in raw materials and export finished goods. WMF is still operating in Geislingen today.
The tray above, from the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century, is as handsome as it is simple. It predates the era of the more-stylized Jugendstil, soon to come. Four feet—pressed from the tray itself—hold the piece up off the table. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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