Wellendorff was founded in 1893 by Ernst Alexander Wellendorff. Working from Pforzheim, within a close proximity to Baden-Baden, Wellendorff attracted the attention of the German elite and soon created fine jewellery for a whole host of nobility including the British Royal family.
The Wellendorff firm was threatened by both World Wars, and unfortunately during World War Two, the entire Wellendorff factory was completely destroyed. Following the war, Ernt's son Dr Alexander Wellendorff rebuilt the firm, focussing on the creation of heavy signet rings. The demand for fine jewellery following World War Two did wane, but the firm remained true to Ernt's original philosophy:
"If you work with the best and noblest of materials, such as gold and diamonds, and you employ the best goldsmiths and experts in the field and then give them the best tools to work with, it is inevitable that you will produce the best and most exquisite jewellery in the world and then invariably you will be able to enchant the most distinguished jewellery aficionados.”
To this day, the philosophy remains, with Wellendorff working exclusively in 18ct gold, cold painted enamel and using only the finest gemstones.
The third generation of Wellendorffs took to the business in the 1960s. Hanspeter Wellendorff bought a flair for design to the firm, introducing the iconic diamond-encrusted 'W' pendant as a signature on every piece of jewellery produced. The instantly recognisable diamond 'W' symbolises the company's commitment to the highest level of quality, precision and craftsmanship.
Cold enamel was introduced to the collections in 1993 and bought a brightness of colour and luxurious feel to each design. Other iconic designs to flourish for Wellendorff include the Limited Edition 'Rings of the Year,' spinning rings and amulets.
Wellendorff jewellery sells well at auction with buyers worldwide. Renowned for their beautifully crafted ropework chains, these pieces tend to exceed auction estimates time and time again. The first Wellendorff rope appeared in 1977 after a bid to create 'silk made from gold.' This exceptional and ergonomic design is hugely popular to this day, exuding a certain opulence that the company is known for and fares particularly well in our specialist Fine Jewellery Auctions.
Gem-set Wellendorff jewels also fetch premium prices under the hammer, particularly for items in good condition and with original retailers cases. Many Wellendorff pieces particularly in the Cheshire area were retailed by renowned jewellers Boodles and so are accompanied with their hallmark deep green boxes.
Contact our qualified specialist Liz Bailey to find out more.
All Wellendorff pieces are adorned with a diamond-set 'W' frequently as pendants/charms, but occasionally incorporated into the designs as seen in their enamelled and band rings.
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