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J.H. Quistgaard Ceramic Designs

J.H. Quistgaard Ceramic Designs, Kronjyden Nissen Denmark

Jens Harald Quistgaard ( 1919 – 2008) was a Danish sculptor and designer, known for his work with Dansk Designs where he was chief designer from 1954 -1984.

He was undoubtedly one of the top designers of the 20th Century – creating what have  become iconic designs in a multitude of materials including stainless steel, silver, ceramic, glass and wood, even designing architectural elements.

His designs have become synonymous with the “Scandinavian Style” where clean lines, elegant sculptural form and natural materials were all integral.

A bit of background from Wikipedia

Quistgaard was hugely productive and for Dansk Design where alone fashioned more than 4000 products. It is a production which spans a large range of materials and utility items, and which is created from a philosophy that utility items for the kitchen and the table should function together harmoniously. To set the table and arrange with Quistgaards designs became from the end of the 1950s and during the 1960s identical with “modern living” and Scandinavian style where clean lines, sculptural form and natural materials went hand in hand. Quistgaard also designed for Palshus Keramik, Eslau Keramik, Hermann Ole Jacobsen, De Forenede Jernstøberier A/S, Raadvad Knivfabrik A/S, Sival Staal, O.V. Mogensen, Slagelse Sølvvarefabrik, Kronjyden Nissen, Trip Trap, IHQ Designs, Gubi of Copenhagen.

My main interest in Quistgaard’s work is with his stoneware designs for the Danish Ceramics factory Kronjyden Nissen which had started up in 1937.  In 1957 Kronjyden Nissen initiated a stoneware production in cooperation with Quistgaard and his company Dansk Design. The first release was the series  “Flamestone” (under the Dansk label) and the next  “Relief” (under the Kronjyden Label).

These became hugely successful designs, and along with the new patterns Quistgaard designed  like Azur, Rune and Cordial, they became a successful business both for export and the home market.  Quistgaard also designed beautiful wooden kitchen wares to compliment these  stoneware series.

The Flamestone design features a highly matte dark, chocolatey brown exterior, contrasting with a smooth white gloss glaze for the interior or “working surfaces”

Flamestone Lidded Sugar Bowl, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Lidded Sugar Bowl, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Lidded Sugar Bowl, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Lidded Sugar Bowl, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Coffee Set, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Coffee Set, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Coffee Pot, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Coffee Pot, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Jug, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Jug, Jens Quistgaard, Dansk Design

Flamestone Backstamp

Flamestone Backstamp

(IHQ is an abbreviation of Jens Harald Quistgaard)

In 1972 Bing & Grondahl took over Kronjyden Nissen , however the interest in stoneware had declined by the 1980’s and in 1988 the factory closed.

Royal Copenhagen (which took over Bing & Grondahl) continued to make replacements for some of the patterns for a number years.  Now many of these designs are still hugely popular and sought after. Good design never dates.

In the next few articles see a number of the designs by Quistgaard for Kronjyden Nissen which have continued to endure to this day, starting with “Relief”.

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