ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie">

ROYAL COPENHAGEN FIGURINES REPLACEMENT DINNERWARE VASES DISHES PLATES COLLECTIBLES BLUE FLUTED FLOWERS SEAGULL AND MUCH MORE

THE STORY ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN

The foundation
By the time the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 1 May 1775 under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie, more than one hundred years of persistent efforts had gone into to eliciting the secret of porcelain making from the Chinese.

An alchemist's heart for "white gold"
The alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger produced the first European porcelain in Dresden in 1709. Although King August the Strong zealously guarded both the alchemist and his formula, as the century proceeded many European kingdoms succeeded in establishing their own porcelain manufactories, where they produced the rare material nicknamed "white gold".
In Denmark the chemist Frantz Henrich Müller had put his heart and soul into the enterprise. Following years of experimentation and trials he succeeded in producing the coveted hard porcelain, and receiving the backing of the royal family.
An old post office on Købmagergade, in the centre of Copenhagen, was converted to house the manufactory.

A laborious beginning (1775-1779)
The manufactory's first years were a hard daily struggle against variable and poor raw materials, lack of experience, unsuccessful firings, disappointing experiments. But Müller and his small select team of artisans laboured with determination and persistence, and succeeded in creating such a solid basis for the manufactory's continued survival that the absolute monarch King Christian VII acceded and took over in 1779, thus guaranteeing the future of the porcelain manufactory.

The no. 1 pattern
The first dinner service pattern to be selected was Blue Fluted. This was a popular pattern in Europe's first porcelain manufactories. Since the taut stylised floral motive originated in China, it was considered the epitome of genuine porcelain. At Royal Copenhagen we continue to paint the pattern by hand, even today. Therefore, Blue Fluted would gradually become synonymous with Danish porcelain.

A bouquet, kept fresh for more than 200 years
In 1779 another blue dinner service, still in production today, followed: Blue Flower. As opposed to Blue Fluted, this pattern reflected the contemporary European style of naturalistic flowers.

Danish porcelain's first blossoming
A period of blossoming followed. The manufactory's clientele were predominantly the royal family and the nobility. Porcelain was a prestigious status symbol in the 1700s. Commissions for coffee and tea services, not to mention large, elaborate vases, ran to sums that today would be computed in millions. Porcelain was principally commissioned as gifts for family members and foreign monarchs. The works produced were richly decorated in multicoloured overglaze and delicately modelled details.

MARKS: Here you can see when the porcelain are produced.

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A dinner service fit for kings
The largest and most renowned of these commissions was the exquisite Flora Danica dinner service. It was commissioned in 1790 by the Danish king, according to legend for Catherine the Great of Russia. Danish flora was reproduced on the porcelain, copying the copperplates published in one of the Age of Enlightenment's greatest botanical works, Flora Danica. When the service was delivered to the royal family, 12 years later, it comprised 1,802 pieces. The service was revived for the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the future King Edward VII of England in 1863. Flora Danica is still painted by hand today at Royal Copenhagen.
 

FIGURER * FIGURINES

STEL * DINNERWARE SØLV * SILVER GLAS * GLASS KERAMIK POTTERY SMYKKER * JEWELRY PLATTER * PLATES ANTIK * ANTIQUES
he hard years of the Napoleonic wars
The Napoleonic Wars raged throughout Europe. The English bombarded Copenhagen in 1807, causing large-scale devastation that almost annihilated the porcelain manufactory. Fuel, kaolin and other raw materials were in short supply. Between 1809 and 1811 most of workforce was let go or put on deferment wages.

But, as it worked out, looking at Danish porcelain from a longer-term historical perspective, slump and boom alternated. A radical revival in production started in 1816, followed a few years later by a marked artistic upswing.
The Golden age & Hetsch (1800-1850)
During what has come to be termed the Golden Age of Danish culture, which lasted until the mid-1800s, the porcelain manufactory again flourished and its production range was influenced by the classical ideals of the era.
Inspired by foreign styles, patterns and colours

The period's trend-setting architect, G.F. Hetsch, was the porcelain manufactory's artistic director. He assigned several artists to the factory, notably the flower painter J.L. Jensen, who distinguished himself with his multicoloured overglaze paintings. Hetsch designed several neo-classical services and elaborate vases richly ornamented in gold. He often found inspiration, as was customary at the time, in foreign styles, patterns and colours. But he inevitably refined the style in his endeavour to find 'purity', which for him was the distinguishing feature of Danish porcelain and therefore essential to national identity in this period, when the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory's role as the nation's flagship was growing.
The first official exhibition
The porcelain manufactory's artistic performance was raised to such a pitch under Hetch's leadership that in 1851 the factory qualified to participate in its first official exhibition, the World Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, London.
 
Krog & Krohn - Porcelain's modern breakthrough (1850-1900)
A new era
Absolute monarchy was abolished in Denmark in 1849. Old state monopolies disappeared and privileges were revoked with the introduction of the new constitution. The old porcelain factory was now compelled to prove its viability on the free market. Soon, Denmark's other large porcelain factory appears: Bing & Grøndahl. Frederik Vilhelm Grøndahl, co-founder of Bing & Grøndahl in 1853.
 
he appearance of Bing & Grøndahl
The figure maker Frederik Vilhelm Grøndahl proposed that Meyer Herman and Jacob Herman Bing, two brothers who were art dealers in the city, should establish a porcelain manufactory. It would produce biscuit figurines based on the works of Thorvaldsen, the renowned Danish sculptor. Grøndahl had a great deal of experience in the production process involved from his years with the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory, where he trained. Bing & Grøndahl was founded on 19 April 1853.
In private hands

The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory came into private hands in 1868. In 1882 the Alumina faience factory purchased the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory, which shortly afterwards moved to a then modern factory building at Alumina's site in Frederiksberg on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Royal Copenhagen still operates from there today.
Both porcelain factories benefited from the new bourgeoisie, who had money to spend in an age of mounting industrialisation. They were now financially prepared for a concerted artistic onslaught, which in the latter half of the century would lead Danish porcelain to the modern breakthrough in the history of porcelain. Whereas others chose to concentrate on the ethos of mass production inherent in the Industrial Revolution, the Danish porcelain manufacturers resolutely put their energies into conserving, reviving and developing the artistic and craft qualities of their products.
The artistic directors set the scene
A broad-based group of Danish industrialists, artists and craftspeople constituted the driving force behind porcelain's modern breakthrough. However, the primary stimulus was supplied by the artistic directors of the two porcelain manufactories: the architect Arnold Krog at the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory, 1885-1916, and the painter Pietro Krohn at Bing & Grøndahl, 1885-1892, followed by the sculptor and painter J.F. Willumsen, 1897-1900.
 
A fresh natural resonance
Renewal focused on the underglaze technique. Hitherto the technique had been used solely for plain blue painting, as for instance in the Blue Fluted pattern. Taking their inspiration from the era's idolisation of nature and from Japanese woodcuts, the Danes refined a type of watercolour technique in which the colour was both applied with a brush and sprayed on to give a fresh natural resonance. A chrome green and a golden brown/red were gradually added.
Art nouveau

Audacious and free modelling was also manifest in this period. In 1886-88 Pietro Krohn anticipated the art nouveau genre with his Heron service, while notably Eiffie Hegermann-Lindencrone's perforated, carved porcelain urns and J.F. Willumsen's powerful works stood out convincingly at the turn of the century.

Danish underglaze porcelain attracted great attention at the World Exposition in Paris in 1889 and was awarded the Grand Prix. The international breakthrough was guaranteed. Efforts intensified in subsequent years, culminating in prizes, honours and commendations at the World Exposition in Paris in 1900.
An international clientele

Museums and collectors the world over vied with each other to acquire the new underglaze works at exorbitant prices.
In 1890 the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory opened a shop in Paris. In 1897 another shop was opened on the fashionable Old Bond Street in London. Among its exclusive clientele the Copenhagen shop at this time boasted the Russian Tsar, Alexander III. The collection he left behind in St. Petersburg bears witness to his esteem for Danish underglaze porcelain.

Devotion to artistic matters demands abundant resources. On several occasions in the 1890s the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory and Bing & Grøndahl were advised to combine their resources to guarantee an international position for Danish porcelain. It would take another 100 years, however, for such a merger to become a reality.
Christmas Plate, Seagull Service and figurines

The newly developed underglaze technique was quickly adapted to the production process. Using a specific version, in which the decoration is cut in relief and interchanging layers of colour produce a variety of blue shades, the underglaze painter F.A. Hallin produced the first Christmas Plate in 1895. At about the same time, the painter Fanny Garde designed her Seagull Service in the new art nouveau style. A service that a few generations later would be designated "Denmark's National Service".
Another cornerstone were laid

But most notably in this period, the foundations were laid for naturalistic vase painting depicting landscapes, marine and animal motifs, and corresponding figurines of animals and humans, which were destined to become one of the cornerstones of Danish porcelain production.
The dawn of a century of modernity
The new century began with a craving to again break through the confines and search for new idioms for a modern time. At the porcelain factory several skilled artists pursued their own cogent paths.
A golden age for Danish faience
With their luxuriant and richly coloured Alumina faience in typical Danish art nouveau style, Christian Joachim and Harald Slott-Møller created a golden age for Danish faience. The sculptor Gerhard Henning caused a stir with his elegantly refined porcelain figurines, elaborately decorated overglaze in oriental fairy-tale mode. In sharp contrast, interest also emerged in robust stoneware, a genre in which Patrick Nordström showed the way with his pioneering experiments in stoneware glazes.
Between the wars
Two predominant styles, art deco and functionalism, marked the years between the two world wars.

Both discernibly influence Danish porcelain, although imbued with a typical Danish interpretation, in other words, the addition of equal measures of common sense, humanity and harmony.
A straightforward, relaxed elegance
It subdues the otherwise more exaggerated and flippant art deco of the roaring twenties with more discreet shapes and decorations, as for example in Christian Joachim's and Thorkild Olsen's porcelain services.

To what was under different skies often very stout and ascetic functionalism Danes added friendly rounded shapes and a straightforward, relaxed elegance. One example is Ebbe Sadolin's Dinner Service of the Thirties, where functionalism becomes the forerunner of the style that would later catch on internationally as Danish Design.
Danish Design
Sparse decorative works also represented Danish ceramic art strongly and originally. Examples include Kai Nielsen's naturalistic sculptures in pure white, glossy, undecorated porcelain that accentuates his rounded shapes, Arno Malinowski's figurine series in blanc-de-chine porcelain, Jean Gauguin's wild expressionist faience sculptures and Axel Salto's unique stoneware in fruit-like shapes, geometric patterns and rich autumn tones.
Scandinavian Design (1950-1970)
After the Second World War people took a more optimistic view of the future: a new and better world would be rebuilt. Simultaneously, the democratisation of society resulted in heightened awareness of and broader interest in decorative art and applied art, generally. Everyone should have an opportunity to acquire beautiful and functional objects. In Denmark this led to a definitive style characterised by simple ease and natural elegance. With its international connotations, Danish Design became the style of the fifties and sixties, all over the world.
Virtuosity and competence
At the Danish porcelain manufactories the style was adapted with great virtuosity and competence, in both stoneware and porcelain. Among the renowned artists, ceramists and designers of the period were Axel Salto, Thorkild Olsen, Gertrud Vasegaard, Nils Thorsson, Magnus Stephensen and Erik Magnussen.
Generous, organic shapes
Two services from this period testify to two different parallel design lines: the sculptor Henning Koppel's service from the early Sixties, in which generous, organic shapes in glossy, white porcelain suggest luxury, although remaining simple and functional; and the architect Grethe Meyer's taut, functional faience service Blue Line with sober grey glaze and a simple blue line, which was destined to become the most popular Danish service in a modern idiom.
The merger years (1970-2000)
Diversity
The seventies and eighties were characterised by contrasting styles.
Firstly, the nostalgic back-to-nature style of rustic handicraft, which found its way to almost every home. The porcelain manufactories expanded their artistic workshops, giving a host of ceramists an opportunity to experiment freely.
Rustic was followed by its opposites: high-tech, post-modernism and, finally, an elaborate new rococo, which found its earliest and most illustrious expression in the Triton porcelain service, designed by the goldsmith Arje Griest.

Towards the end of the 20th century international competition intensified to such an extent that the European art industry was compelled to amalgamate its resources in mergers, buy-outs and new partnerships.
Joined forces
The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory had already bought Georg Jensen Silversmiths in 1972.

In 1985 the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory and Holmegaard Glassworks merged under the name Royal Copenhagen A/S.

In 1987 Bing & Grøndahl joined Royal Copenhagen. The intention was to secure a strong position for the Danish art industry globally.
Globalisation
Numerous foreign subsidiaries are strengthened and established, and Royal Copenhagen shops open on prestigious thoroughfares in cities throughout Europe, the USA, East Asia and Australia.
 
Royal Scandinavia is a reality
Finally, the best of the Danish and Swedish art industry merged when Royal Copenhagen joined forces with the Swedish glass works Orrefors and Kosta Boda under the name Royal Scandinavia.
The porcelain division continued to bear the name Royal Copenhagen.
 
Art and utility
The last decade of the century was naturally marked by efforts to further the most essential attributes of each of the tradition-steeped companies, which were now united in one entity.
With respect to porcelain, renewal concentrated on two significant lines: developing and introducing new everyday items, while simultaneously experimenting with freer expression. A dual process that down through history has been the vital challenge facing Danish porcelain.
 
New and luxuriant functionalism
The ultimate winner of the nineties was launched in 1993, with ceramist Ursula Munch-Petersen's version of new and luxuriant functionalism in the Ursula faience service.
In 1998 the ceramist Ole Jensen designed a series of sculptural applied art objects, under the collective name Ole. The collection is composed of individual items for the kitchen and table, with the shared idea of making play of work.
 
Providing the free artistic expression

Some of Denmark's best visual artists are providing the free artistic expression. Names of note include Jens Birkemose, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Bjørn Nørgaard, Arne Haugen Sørensen, Peter Brandes, Torben Ebbesen, Lise Malinowsky, Maja-Lisa Engelhardt and Doris Bloom, while the porcelain factory's full-time ceramists Sten Lykke Madsen, with his fabulous sculptures, and Ivan Weiss, with his metre-high urns and tiny ceramic boxes, combine to demonstrate the broadness of approach and openness with which Royal Copenhagen greets the new millennium.
 
Today's porcelain since 1775
In 2000 Danish porcelain celebrates its 225th anniversary under the name Royal Copenhagen, as Denmark's oldest design company.
The anniversary reflects the highlights of 225 years: the heritage of history, tradition and craftsmanship is illustrated in re-editions and new editions of the Blue Fluted service, first produced in 1775.
 
A blue line in Danish design
The neo-functionalist, colourful version of Grethe Meyer's Blue Line service, dating from 1965, acknowledges the debt we owe to the 20th century's concept: Danish Design.
And as Royal Copenhagen throws down the gauntlet to designers and ceramists to present their visions for the dinner service of the future, the new Millennium is declared open.
 
BASED ON INFORMATION FROM ROYAL COPENHAGEN