This primative/antique pair of ice skates with hand forged steel/iron? Loops, and wooden footbeds is one of Carl Wilhelm WIRTHS'S earliest pairs of skates produced in Remscheid, Germany. This pair could very well date to the early 1830s, due to the simple maker's mark of WIRTHS & B__ Brothers? Stamped on the sides of the blades vs.
The later maker's marks which were more intricate. There is an "&" after "WIRTHS" and a "B" followed by __. After looking at similar early 1800s WIRTHS'S skates held in collections at The Smithsonian and Winterthur Museum, where they reference "WIRTHS & BROTHERS, " I'm inclined to believe the "B__" references BROTHERS.
Carl Wilhelm WIRTHS, the skate maker (schaatsenmaker), was born in Remscheid (Duitsland), Germany, and during the period of 1824 - 1861 his manufacturing plants in Remscheid produced ice skates which he successfully exported through out Europe and across the ocean to America. Early pairs of skates are also in the permanent collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.Wirths's earlier designs in ice skates are what you would see with this pair: hand forged steel/iron? A simple wooden footbed that is slender and deep-waisted, notches for leather straps and blades that were hand turned into whimsical and not quite identical loops! There are hand chiseled, narrow grooves at the back end of the blades to enable slowing down. Side note: I read that the screw tips in the heel areas prevented boots from slipping from the footbed.
I have always tied a blue satin ribbon around these skates and placed them on a table with a copy of Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates during the wintertime. Most likely those skates were immensely enjoyed by some very lucky person and you have to wonder where those blades "carved" ice. DETAILS: (See photos for the below particulars). Length: 13 1/4 (Front of loop to back-end of footbed).Width: 2 1/4 (Widest part of footbed). Height: 3 1/4 (Top of curl to bottom of blade). Cracks due to aging and use. Might be missing a heel plate.
Blade: Hand Forged Steel or iron? Condition: Antique Used and they show signs of age - almost 200 years old! If you would like additional photos, please ask!
The item "1830s WIRTHS & BROTHERS WOOD HAND FORGED STEEL/IRON GERMAN ICE SKATES STAMPED" is in sale since Tuesday, February 12, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Primitives". The seller is "nantucketrun" and is located in Fairfield, Connecticut. This item can be shipped to United States.