Identification of WMF Cromargan LINE
The WMF LINE pattern is often confused with several other similar patterns of WMF stainless, especially LAUREL.  Below is an attempt to make identification of pieces easier and more accurate.

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The standard piece to use for comparing patterns is the dinner fork.  Below, I show the dinner forks of six WMF stainless patterns that are sometimes confused.  These patterns are LINE, LINEA, ALPHA, ACTION, LAUREL, and NORTICA, although it isn't the forks that are most often confused, it's the spoons.  When I manage to acquire teaspoons of all six patterns, I'll display them as well.


LINEA has the same shape as LINE, except that LINE is entirely satin, while LINEA has satin handles and a glossy head.  The only other one of these patterns that is entirely satin is LAUREL. 

In cross section, the top of the NORTICA handle is pancake flat, while the ACTION handle is slightly convex.  The handles of the other four patterns have an upper surface that is slightly concave.  NORTICA is unique in having an angular neck (see detail below).

The tips of LINE, LINEA, and NORTICA are blunt, while the other three are tapered.  The tips all turn up slightly, except for NORTICA, which is beveled (see detail below)

 NORTICA Details
NOTICA has two features that easily distinguish it from the other patterns:  one is the angle at the neck (left image), the other is its beveled tip (right image).  In addition, NORTICA is decidedly I would even say, unpleasantly heavier than the other patterns.  For example, the NORTICA dinner fork weighs 54.4 grams, while the LINE dinner fork weighs only 39.9 grams.

The glossy backs on the heads of the forks are more evident here as you can see a reflection of me and the camera in the LINEA, ALPHA, and ACTION forks.  You should be able to see a reflection in the NORTICA fork, but this particular piece is heavily used and dull, while the other three are virtually new.  The satin backs are evident on the LINE and LAUREL forks, and even though the LINE fork is virtually unused, its satin finish still does not have a mirror-like reflection.  The most evident differences, however, are in the backstamps.

This is a temporary image, until I have teaspoons of all six patterns.  The left to right order is as with the forks, that is, LINE, LINEA, ALPHA, (missing ACTION), LAUREL, and NORTICA.  Obviously, for ALPHA and NORTICA, these are soup spoons, not teaspoons.  The most obvious feature distinguishing LINE and LINEA from the others is the oval, not teardrop, bowl.  The satin bowl of LINE vs. the glossy bowl of LINEA is even more apparent in the spoons than in the forks (note the mirror-like reflection in the bowl of LINEA).  However, as the glossy bowls become heavily scratched with use, it may be more difficult to distinguish glossy bowls from satin ones.

In general, the patterns FORM and LINE will not be confused, except for the dinner knives (FORM is on the left, LINE on the right).
The "old, triangular" German backstamp.  Found on LINE and LAUREL.
The "newer, horizontal" German backstamp.  Found on LINE, LAUREL, and ALPHA.

(An example here of a piece that has been excessively buffed to appear newer, thus wearing away the backstamp.)

Another ALPHA backstamp, this one from Spain.
A LINEA backstamp from Korea (also manufactured in Vietnam).
A Korean ACTION backstamp.
A Japanese NORTICA backstamp.
Satin vs. Glossy

In two cases...