A tree scarred by the wind but still resilient and strong, a mountain top and the initials “W.u.K”, all enclosed in a circle – these are the elements that together make up the Wendt & Kühn logo. It stands for the origin of the material from which our figurines and music boxes are made. This logo with its weather-beaten spruce has identified almost without a break all the figurines that have left our workshops. Our timeless logo was designed by Professor Margarete Junge (1874 -1966) under whom the founders of the company and later also Olly Wendt, née Sommer, studied at the Royal Saxon Academy of Applied Art in Dresden. Over the years only a very few modifications have been made.
During the early years of the manufactory, a rubber stamp with the weather-beaten spruce and initials was used to mark the wooden base of the figurines. This was later replaced by paper labels.
In 1949 Wendt & Kühn was awarded the “Gütezeichen für das Kunsthandwerk und Kunstgewerbe” (Quality Mark for Arts and Crafts) by the Zonenausschuss (Zone Committee) and from then onwards a lily and a hammer were incorporated into the logo, beneath the firm’s initials.
In 1955/56, a green dot was added to the base of the figurines next to the logo. This marked a change in the material used for the angel wings, from wood to plastic. Up to this time, the wafer-thin wooden wings often snapped off when they were being attached to the body, packaged or transported. The solution lay in this new material.
On 28 April 1972, Wendt & Kühn was compulsorily nationalized. Yet, the high quality of the work and fortunately even the initials “W” and “K” were retained – though “W–K” now stood for “VEB Werk-Kunst Grünhainichen”.
With nationalization and their incorporation into state holding companies, many firms experienced a certain loss of identity during the 1970s. To counteract this and also to protect the rights of the producers, forward-thinking enterprises founded trademark associations. VEB Werk-Kunst joined the GDR’s Warenzeichenverband für Kunsthandwerk und Kunstgewerbe e.V. Under the trademark “expertic®”, the association marketed products from throughout the Erzgebirge to the rest of the world and over many years bestowed internationally recognized awards for craftsmanship. Numerous designs by Grete and Olly Wendt were among the award-winning products.
To show their membership of the trademark association, the “expertic®” logo was added to the underside of the base alongside the “W.u.K.” and “W-K” logos.
*Expertic was a trademark of the Warenzeichenverband für Kunsthandwerk und Kunstgewerbe (Trademark Association for Arts and Crafts).
On 1 July 1990, the company was privatized again and VEB Werk-Kunst became Wendt & Kühn once more. At first the words “Made in Germany” joined the company’s initials on the logo. Today, the phrase “Feine deutsche Handarbeit” (Fine German Craftsmanship) represents the manufactory’s pledge.