A lesser-known early Paris maker; the German maker Wagner.
I recently acquired a little saucepan and wondered if you were aware of the original retailer. It’s a relatively mediocre pot (13 cm diameter, 7.5 cm high, 1.0 mm thick at the rim, wrought iron handle with three flat copper rivets marked “3”) but caught my eye on eBay with the retailer’s mark on the base: “J.GODARD” over “14. R.MONTMARTRE. 14” with a tiny “14” in front of the “J.GODARD”. “IS.” (or “15.”) also appears upside down to the right.
Despite the very thin sidewall (1.0 mm), I would highly rate the overall workmanship. You can see from the previously attached image that the wrought iron handle is well-shaped with a central spur or peak on the flange and the machine made rivets have tidy dome “shop” heads.
Have you encountered this retailer in French trade gazettes?
It took me a while but I finally I found “Godard (J.), quincaillier” at 14 rue Montmartre in Paris from 1870 to 1873. There are some gaps in the records, though — there is no 1865-1869, so the shop could have been established during that period and I just can’t find record of it. But in any event Godard looks to have been extant for only a short period — 1865 at the very earliest until about 1873.
I think 1mm would be fairly standard for that time period. The stovetops just didn’t put out that much heat, so a relatively light pan could handle it just fine. Plus, during the late 1860s to early 1870s, there may not have been strong machinery to bend thicker sheet metal, so 1-2mm was the standard.
As a quincaillier, Godard may not have shaped the copper himself. It’s hard to say who could have made it, as there were many small coppersmiths at that time in Paris. But we can at least narrow down the time range when the piece could have been stamped.
Congratulations for this lovely old piece!
What the heck is this, and what do I do with it? It’s 12 inches in diameter and 12 inches high and 28 inches across the handles.
Oh my gosh, it’s awesome. Wagner is a German metalsmith but I don’t know much about the company. I reached out to my resident German copper expert Martin and he’s taken a look at the pot and filled in some history.
This pot, in my estimation, dates from the first quarter of the last century. The similarity with pots from Gebr. Schwabenland is striking. I suspect it has a good weight. Unfortunately, I can’t say more about this pot specifically, as I only know of items Wagner made after WWII. The metalware factory had a fairly extensive line of items primarily for household kitchens at that time. These items are offered quite frequently on eBay. They were of good, but not above average quality.
The roots of the traditional company go back to the year 1524, when Peter Wagner, master coppersmith, acquired the citizenship of the city of Nördlingen. Since then, the copper craft has been passed down from father to son through 15 generations without interruption. Nördlingen, Heidenheim, Stuttgart, and Esslingen are the cities where the wainwrights of this line worked.
The founder of the Esslingen line was Christian Wagner (1740-1811), who moved from Stuttgart to Esslingen in 1769. His workshop was the common origin of the Christian Wagner and Wilhelm Wagner metalware factories. “Gebrüder Wagner, Metallwarenfabrik, Esslingen am Neckar” (HRA 219) was registered in the Commercial Register of the Esslingen District Court from 1914 to 1966. In 1992, Christian Wagner moved from its old location in Esslingen to a new building in Deizisau. The Christian Wagner metalware factory, famous for its copperware, filed for bankruptcy in August 1995.
Martin also provided a few more photos of Wagner copper.
I’ve seen poissonières with those beautiful elaborate handles but I didn’t realize they were Wagner. There’s beautiful.
Readers, do any of you own Wagner? Can you add to this history?