WMF, Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (German, founded 1880)

Return To Glossary

Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, more commonly known as WMF, was an important silverware and tableware manufacturer in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

The roots of the company lie in the foundation of the small metal manufacturer ‘Metallwarenfabrik Straub & Schweizer’ in 1853. This company specialised in the production of mill turbines, for which it won a gold medal at the World Exhibition in London in 1862.

The company grew over the course of the 1860s and 1870s, and in 1880 it merged with another metalworking company, Ritter & Co., to form WMF. It was from this point that WMF started to specialise in producing tableware and silver. The greatest stylistic influence on WMF’s products was the popular Art Nouveau style (known in German as Jugendstil) with its curved lines and natural forms.