The date and contents of this catalog have already been assessed on numerous occassions. Here is what is written in my database, including comments from two very knowledgeable European collectors:
************************RWS/Utendoerffer c1898-1908 catalog
Another question that needs to be resolved is the date for the well known RWS/Utendoerffer catalog (the one with all the MB cartridges) that has been described as being produced in 1898 by some and 1908 by others. My copy is much photocopied and has 1898 handwritten on the cover. Can you provide any additional info. If we can date this catalog it will determine much information on the introduction of many cartridges.
The cover page of this (reprinted) catalogue has a handwritten note on the top which reads. “Frankreich 1908” (France). The graphic on the coverpage has medals which show that RWS participated in an exhibition 1896 in Nürnberg. So this date is the most early date which could be taken as printing date. The reverse shows “Prinz Luitpold.”, who governed Bavaria from 1886 - 1912. This does not help.
But another fact can help. The German language had an official reform of the orthography in 1902. And three of these words ( Illustrirter, Actien, Abtheilung) were concerned by this. Now: Illustrierter, Aktien, Abteilung.
Now: If we have the opinion that RWS made their cover page according the new orthography, then we may asume that the catalogue was printed before 1902.
But why the handwritten notice 1908 ?
I think once they had an original German version. And then they decided to edit a French version as well. All the words within the frames and which are close to the drawings and therefore probably a part of the cliché (stereotype plate) remained in German only, while the headlines were bilingual. So they used older plates for the French version. The cover page including.
Your handwritten note 1898 is not implausible. But printed dates would be better.
Thanks Heinrich - this all helps. So the non-cartridge content and printing details of the catalog would imply 1896-1902. What about the cartridges included ?:
I originally thought the inclusion of the 303 Savage would imply greater than 1900 but the introduction of this cartridge was 1895 by UMC (Barnes is wrong!), so this just supports >1895 - not much help.
The inclusion of the 9.3x72R Nimrod and 9.3x82R Nimrod I thought would have been c1905 as I had no references to the Nimrod Gewehrfabrik of Suhl prior to that date. Now I know they operated from c1900 - an exact date would help.
The 9x57 and 9x57R M88 Mauser cartridges I thought would have been introduced by DWM for Mauser and certainly the 9x57 was produced by DWM c1903 (prior to the 1904 DWM catalog) . However now, I am not convinced that they were introduced for Mauser and so DWM may not have introduced these first.
The 8.1x72R Brenneke is believed to have been introduced 1898 - but maybe this conclusion was because it is in this catalog and this catalog is believed to be 1898 ??
What else : The 6.5 and 8mm Sauer types were listed by DWM c1897 - this is not much help, nor the Gründig or other Smokeless types.
One thing I notice that may be significant is that there are no rimless Auto Pistol cartridges - maybe this implies pre 1900 ?? The 6.5x27 was one of the few rimless cartridges in the c1900 RWS catalog.
The style of the catalog also appears quite simple and therefore a lot earlier than other RWS, DWM or German catalogs. The more I look at it, the more the year 1898 seems more likely ?
********************Heinz Held from “RWS-Patronen-Sammelsurium”
The oldest documents referring to this content that are known so far are the RWS case catalog reproduction by the DWJ journal publishing house, Schwäbisch-Hall, also produced by W. Andraeas, Hamburg. The content of both is identical but the first shows ‘according to the original’ numbered pages. Recently a further source, a German-French catalog of the company H. Utendoerffer is known which allows examination of the situation c1884. Such bilingual catalogues were not only for Germans and French, but were also intended for international markets. Up till 1945, French was the common language in international relations but was displaced by English, due to the US presence in Europe.
The hand-written addition ‘Frankreich 1908’ (France 1908) on the DWJ reproduction is not relevant. The catalog dated 1908 does have a different cover and also content (Ed note: from another French Utendoerfer catalogue which is definitively dated 1908). The aforementioned catalog reproductions date themselves as being not older than 1899 by including the William Brenneke 8,1x72R, introduced in 1898 and not younger than approx 1902, because of the missing illustration of the Silver medal which was bestowed at an exhibition in Düsseldorf in 1902 as well as the ways of writing; Abtheilung, Illustrirt etc. This did not change until after the Iithorthographic conference in Berlin in 1901/1902. 1900 might be more accurate.
SUMMARY : BEST QUESS AT DATING THIS CATALOG = c1900