ASCAS
Association 
of Small Collectors
of Antique Silver ASSOCIATION OF SMALL COLLECTORS OF ANTIQUE SILVER
ASCAS

article # 26

home

next

previous

by Tom Guarrera - courtesy www.925-1000.com
 
click on images to enlarge

GEORG JENSEN: a silversmith from Denmark


Born in 1866, the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen.
Jensen began his training in goldsmithing at the age of 14 in Copenhagen. His apprenticeship, with the firm Guldsmet Andersen, ended in 1884 and this freed young Georg to follow his artistic yearnings.
From childhood he had longed to be a sculptor and now pursued this course of study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
He graduated in 1892 and began exhibiting his work. Although his clay sculpture was well received, making a living as a fine artist proved difficult and he turned his hand to the applied arts. First as a modeller at the Bing & Grondahl porcelain factory and, beginning in 1898, with a small pottery workshop he founded in partnership with Christian Petersen.
Again the work was well received, but sales were not strong enough to support Jensen, by this point a widower, and his two small sons.
In 1901, he abandoned ceramics and began again as a silversmith and designer with the master, Mogens Ballin. This led Jensen to make a landmark decision, when in 1904, he risked what small capital he had and opened his own little silversmithy at 34 Bredegade in Copenhagen.
Jensen's training in metalsmithing along with his education in the fine arts allowed him to combine the two disciplines and revivify the tradition of the artist craftsman.
Soon, the beauty and fine quality of his Art Nouveau creations caught the eye of the public and his success was assured. The Copenhagen quarters were greatly expanded and before the close of the 1920's, Jensen had opened retail outlets as far ranging as New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and Buenos Aires.

 

Jensen marks

Jensen's marks
1 used 1904 ~ 1908
2 used 1909 ~ 1914
3 circa 1910 ~ 1925
4 used 1915 ~ 1930
5 used 1915 ~ 1927 (raised lettering)
6 used 1925 ~ 1932
7 used 1933 ~ 1944
8 used 1945 ~ 1951 on items retailed in Copenhagen
9 used 1945 ~ present (intaglio lettering)

 

Georg Jensen died in 1935, but in the preceding years he imbued the firm with his strongly held ideals concerning both artistry in design and excellence in craftmanship, this tradition has been adhered to throughout the 20th century.
Although Jensen himself was a proponent of the Art Nouveau style, he had the wisdom and foresight to allow his designers their own freedom of expression which expanded the stylistic scope of what the firm produced and allowed it to keep step with time.

On occasion, designer's marks are found along side the Jensen maker' mark. Some of the firm's more notable designers include:

Johan Rohde (1856-1935)
Johan Rohde designer's mark
Just Andersen (1884-1943)
Gundolph Albertus (1887-1970)Gundolph Albertus (1887-1970))designer's mark
Harald Nielsen (1892-1977) Harald Nielsen (1892-1977)designer's mark
Arno Malinowski (1899-1976) Arno Malinowski (1899-1976)designer's mark
Sigvard Bernadotte (1907-2002) Sigvard Bernadotte (1907-2002) designer's mark
Henning Koppel (1918-1981) Henning Koppel (1918-1981)designer's mark
Bent Gabrielsen (b.1918) Bent Gabrielsen (b.1918)designer's mark
Nanna & Jorgen Ditzel (JD - d.1961) Nanna & Jorgen Ditzel (JD - d.1961) designer's mark
Nanna Ditzel (b.1923) Nanna Ditzel (b.1923) designer's mark
Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube (1927-2004) Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube (1927-2004)designer's mark

 

Sources:
George Jensen Silversmithy, 77 Artists, 75 Years - Erik Lassen, Smithsonian Institution, 1980
George Jensen, Silver & Design - Thomas C. Thulstrup, Gads Forlag 2004
Dansk Smykker / Danish Jewelry - Jacob Thage, Komma & Clausen 1990


 

courtesy Tom Guarrera - www.925-1000.com


ASCAS appendix

JENSEN photo gallery

Coffee set
designer Johan Rhode
c. 1920 Three piece coffee set 
Designer Sigvard Bernadotte 
c.1930 Three piece 
coffee set 
c. 1940 Three piece tea set 
designer Georg Jensen c. 1920
Coffee set
designer Johan Rhode
c. 1920
Three piece coffee set
designer Sigvard
Bernadotte c.1930
Three piece
coffee set c.1940
Three piece tea set designer Georg Jensen c. 1920

 
compote
designer Alphonse LaPaglia Candy compote
1933/1944 compote with 
swirling stem 
and grapes 
after 1945 Soup tureen
c. 1940-1950
compote
designer
Alphonse LaPaglia
Candy compote
1933/1944
compote with swirling
stem and grapes
after 1945
Soup tureen
c. 1940-1950

 
Acorn cruet set
designer Johan Rhode Teapot Teapot with fluted 
ivory handle c. 1930 Open salt
1915/1930
Acorn cruet set
designer Johan Rhode
Teapot
Teapot with fluted
ivory handle c. 1930
Open salt
1915/1930

 
Hot water kettle
designer Johan Rhode
c. 1918 Two light candelabra
pattern Pomegranade
c.1918 Covered jug
pattern Cosmos
designer Johan Rhode
c.1930
Hot water kettle
designer Johan Rhode
c. 1918
Two light candelabra
Pomegranade pattern
c.1918
Covered jug pattern Cosmos
designer Johan Rhode
c.1930

 
spoon and fork
pattern Cactus Demitasse spoon
pattern Acanthus
c. 1917 Spoon and fork
pattern '83'
spoon and fork
Cactus pattern
Demitasse spoon
Acanthus pattern
c. 1917
Spoon and fork
pattern '83'

 
Flatware set
Acorn pattern Flatware set
Bernadotte pattern
Flatware set Acorn pattern
Flatware set Bernadotte pattern

 

JENSEN flatware patterns

Acadia Just Andersen 1934?

acadia pattern

Acanthus Johan Rohde 1917

acanthus pattern

Acorn Johan Rohde 1915

acorn pattern

Argo Magnus Stephensen 1961

argo pattern

Beaded Georg Jensen 1916

beaded pattern

Bernadotte Sigfred Bernadotte 1930

bernadottes patten

Bittersweet Gundorph Albertus 1940

bittersweet pattern

Blossom Georg Jensen 1919

blossom pattern

Cactus Gundorph Albertus 1930

cactus pattern

Caravel Henning Koppel 1957

caravel pattern

Continental Georg Jensen 1906

continental pattern

Coral Georg Jensen 1905-06  
Cypress Tias Eckhoff 1934

cypress pattern

Dahlia Sigfred Wegner 1912

dahlia pattern

Elsinore Harald Nielsen 1937

elsinore pattern

Fuchsia Georg Jensen 1904

fuchsia patten

Lily of the Valley Georg Jensen 1918

lily of the valley patten

Margrethe Rigmor Andersen
Annelise Bjorne
1965

margrethe pattern

Mayan Johan Rohde 1937

mayan pattern

Nordic O.Gundlach Pedersen 1937

nordic pattern

Old Danish Harald Nielsen 1947

Old Danish pattern

Parallel O.Gundlach Pedersen 1931

parallel pattern

Persian Johan Rohde 1940  
Pyramid Harald Nielsen 1926

pyramid pattern

Rope Georg Jensen 1916

rope pattern

Rose Georg Jensen 1913

rose patten

Scroll Johan Rohde 1927

scroll pattern

Viking Georg Jensen 1927

viking pattern

16 Georg Jensen 1906  
18 Georg Jensen 1912  
19 Georg Jensen 1914  
21 Georg Jensen

pattern 21

83 Georg Jensen 1914

patten 83

145 Georg Jensen 1906  
164 Harald Nielsen 1934