Martin also made the same set in an unmarked version, but those pieces are much harder to find. “The pieces look identical,” Jonathon says. “They used the same patterns to mold the Martin skillets and the unmarked ones.” After a molder had put together a cast-iron mold, he would, for the unmarked pieces, take a little bit of extra sand and swipe it over the logo to cover it up. “They called that ‘buttering a skillet,’” Jonathon points out. “If you look closely at a unmarked skillet, you can see a slightly raised area where the logo has been filled in.”
Surviving Martin patterns show that when they became worn, some type of resin was used to fill in the logo, and the company continued to use the patterns to make unmarked cast-iron pieces.
How can a new collector recognize these unmarked Martin pieces? You have to become familiar with the characteristics of marked Martin pieces—how they are numbered, the type of handles they have, etc.—and look for those features in unmarked pieces.
Unlike more prominent cast-iron cookware makers such as Wagner and Griswold, Martin is said to have used only five different logos for Martin and four for King. The “hamburger” logo is perhaps the most recognized one.