Robbe & Berking: Art and Beauty in Silver

Nicholas Sterling

Their silver products have become objects of desire for those with an eye for luxury design.

The story of the German firm Robbe & Berking—one of the world’s most admired silversmiths—begins in the last quarter of the 19th century, when craftsman Nicolaus Christoph Robbe opened a workshop in the city of Flensburg. Today, the company is still owned and managed by the same family.

Robbe & Berking

In the beginning, Nicolaus worked alone—aided only by his wife—manufacturing silver cutlery and other table accessories designed and commissioned by local jewelers. Robbe`s ability and talent became notorious, and in 1897 he hired a young assistant, Robert Berking. Over time Berking married Robbe`s daughter, thus obtaining a 50% stake in the fledgling company.

Berking‘s arrival represented a turning point for the workshop, which began to create its own collections of cutlery and other silver objects, and expanded marketing to other parts of Germany. Just ten years after its incorporation, the company already had twelve employees and had expanded the workshop. But a fatal accident took the life of Berking in 1908 when he was only 35 years old.

His widow, Henriette took over the business, and then her eldest son, Theodor, managed it for 40 years. Theodor’s tenure was so successful the company grew to hire 100 employees. Since 1957, Theodor’s son, Robert Berking, has turned the firm into the largest silverware manufacturer in Europe.

Robbe & Berking
1. Oliver Berking.
2. Skilled artisans hand make every product using traditional techniques.
3. The label’s products adorn the tables of the best hotels and restaurants in the world..
4. Ostfriesen collection.

In 1997, Oliver Berking, representing the fifth generation, took over the company with his father, to fulfill the foudner’s motto: “Others may do it cheaper, but they cannot make it better.”

Robbe & Berking refused to move the production to more competitive countries, which allowed then keep a tight control of their creations and maintain the high quality that characterizes the brand. The elegance of the labels cutlery is so appreciated some of the world’s best hotels and restaurants use then to serve their customers.

The label continues to grow and stands as one of the most successful luxury brands in Germany. Its silverware is an object of desire for those who love beautiful design and the soft feeling of precious metals in their hands.

Within its broad range of products, we find particularly interesting their Art Deco pattern, created in 1929 by Theodor Berking, a great goldsmith who captured the essence of the period through beautiful cutlery. The Hermitage model from 2014 celebrates the 140th anniversary of the opening of the first Robbe & Berking workshop; It features exquisite hand hammered silver pieces, which recall the sumptuous and fascinating artistic imprint of the era of the czars.

Other delicate pieces also stand out. These include coffee pots, artistic glass and silver accessories like the ‘Crystal Bowl’ or the ‘Caviar Bowl’, champagne flutes in silver or matt finishes, water glasses, modern and classic chandeliers, and also vases.

All cutlery meet strict quality standards, which include a guarantee valid until at least 2040. They are entirely handmade in Germany using the best materials, and also all collections can be customized with prints and initials to suit the client`s wishes.

Robbe & Berking represents the painstaking work of a group of artists and artisans who have a profound respect and devotion to the production methods of the past, and continue— almost a century after founding—offering exquisite items that will look as beautiful today as they will one hundred years from now.

© | 2019