ID? 20th Century: R followed by wheel(?)

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
RSK
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:45 pm

ID? 20th Century: R followed by wheel(?)

Postby RSK » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:06 pm

Aside from the 800 and Crescent/Crown, I see the capital letter R followed by what is either a six-spoke wheel, a six-petalled flower, or a "mogen dovid" (Jewish star-of-David) in a circle.

The flatware dates from the early 1920's, I believe, and was fairly new and "up-to-date" at the time. The original purchaser lived in Mainz am Rhein, and was a Jewish business owner living near the St. Emeran's Church, not far from the Marketplace and the Mainzer Dom. (The emblem of the city of Mainz is a cartwheel, about which there is some pretty legend, but which, I understand, is now thought to date back to the pre-Roman inhabitants who worshipped a sun-god called MOGO--and the "Mainzer Rad" or Mainz wheel is supposed to be HIS emblem, a stylized solar disk...in case you're interested.) I do not know if the silversmith was a Mainz artisan, and Mainz is situated quite close to several other large cities, including Frankfurt.

Here are two 1200 dpi grayscale scans of the hallmark:

Image
Image

And a 150 dpi scan of the luncheon-fork and soup-spoon are located here, if you would like to try to name the pattern for me:

http://www.concentric.net/~rsk/Ag/silver_small.jpg

I'd be very grateful for an identification and any information about this pattern that you can provide.

Thank you kindly for your attention--as a total naive about silver, I'm delighted to find this Web site and this forum, and hope I shall soon find an answer or a direction for my search.

Bahner
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Postby Bahner » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:32 am

Hallo, that is Rueckert from Mainz. Founded in the 19th century, flatware-production was given up around 1930 and the patterns and the machinery were aquired by Gebr. Reiner. Gebr. Reiner still exists, but they have no knowledge of Rückert or even the exact date of aquisition. Best wishes, Bahner

RSK
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:45 pm

Vielen Dank!/Many Thanks!

Postby RSK » Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:09 pm

Well, well, well!

I never expected an answer so very quickly!

Now that I'm armed with the silversmith's name and approximate dates, I have some basis for further research.

If Rueckert was, indeed, located in the city of Mainz, then it would make perfect sense to me that the little emblem after the "R" is, indeed, the Mainzer Rad or "Mainz Wheel," which is the badge of the city, and with which the city's coat-of-arms is charged. Also, I believe that the original puchaser, in 1924, being a prominent businessman of the city and active in city affairs before the Nazi regime, would have purchased locally, from one of his fellow businessmen.

May I ask, if you didn't simply recognize the mark off-hand, could you direct me the reference book in which you found the information for me?

Thank you again for giving me such a complete answer so quickly!

blakstone
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Posts: 716
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:05 am

Postby blakstone » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:17 pm

The firm of M.J. Rückert was founded by Martin Joseph Rückert (1811-1891) in 1838. He was succeeded by his son Mathes Martin Lorenz Rückert (1840-1918) and grandson Martin Joseph Rückert II (1874-1954). The mark on your piece was first reported in 1889. The Rückert firm was noted in the first quarter of the 20th century for their handsome modern flatware, some of which was designed by the great Peter Behrens. The company was still listed in the 1925 German Goldsmith’s Yearbook; I suspect their acquisition by Reiner was just before or after WWII.

Hope this helps!

Bahner
contributor
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Postby Bahner » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:20 am

Hello, in 1931 Rueckert is still listed as a member of the VSF (Vereinigung der Silberwarenfabrikanten - no relation to the company VSF from Duesseldorf). Rueckert filed bankruptcy at the end of 1931 or the beginning of 1932. The legal proceedings concerning that bankruptcy ended in March 1932. It seems most likely that Rueckert sold its patterns and production facilities during that time. Rueckert continued as a jeweler and retailer well into the late 1930ies: on December 14th, 1938 it celebrated its 100th anniversary. The data concerning the lives of the Rueckerts and their mark are taken from Scheffler's book on "Goldschmiede Hessens", published in 1976. Other info is taken from periodicals of the time. No other info on Rueckert exists - at least I am not aware of it. Best wishes, Bahner

RSK
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:45 pm

Thank you all again!

Postby RSK » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:18 pm

Thank you both very much indeed, for giving me so much benefit of your expertise!

It is amazing how so much history is bound up in this pretty dining set; it would make perfect sense to me that a firm like Rueckert might fall upon hard times in the years of the world depression. I do think the set itself exhibits great restraint and taste: it is very simple and elegant, relying on only a few graceful curves for its appeal.

As I told you, I'm utterly naive about silver and antiques of any sort, and so your responses have saved me endless hours of pointless searching through the wrong reference works!

I'm very grateful to you!

RSK
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:45 pm

Postby RSK » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:31 pm

I have had to move the images from my initial post to a new location:

Image
Image
http://home.earthlink.net/~rsk0/Ag/silver_small.jpg


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