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Posts from the ‘Danish Factory Potteries’ Category

Aluminia Morgenfrue

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Morgenfrue/Calendula

This pattern is called Calendula (or Morgenfrue) and was produced by Aluminia Royal Copenhagen faience from 1934 to 1967, such was its popularity and timeless qualities. The design is by the iconic designer and potter NILS THORSSON.

What I like about this design is the great combination of colours and the simple orange flower motif (the Calendula).

The base colour is a lovely pale cream which is complimented by the simple orange flower, lovely woven texture rims, and dark green detailing on the rims and leaves.

Aluminia had been established in Copenhagen in 1863. In 1882, the owners of Aluminia purchased the Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory. From 1901-1928 Alumina had a renewed era of success under Chairman Joachim (1870-1943) and Harald Slott-Møller (1864-1937).

In 1928 Nils Thorsson took the factory to its new and final era before closing in 1969,  although Royal Copenhagen continued to use the name of Alumina for some of its ware for a time afterward. Nils Thorsson continued to work for Royal Copenhagen into the 1970s.

Aluminia Morgenfrue Bowl

Aluminia Morgenfrue Bowl

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Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass

Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass

When designing Quaking Grass, (pattern number 884) Thorkild Ohlsen developed beautiful and subtle porcelain forms with elegant lines, and perfect proportions. This was combined with Art Nouveau and Oriental-inspired, hand-painted botanical elements in patterns that are timeless and elegant.

The forms designed for this service were to be used on many dinnerware designs that followed including the equally admired “Fensmark”.

Quaking Grass was produced from the early-30’s until approximately 1960, as it simply did not go out of style.

Quaking Grass derives it name from an early-19th century botanical illustration of the ‘Doxia’ plant, more-commonly known as ‘Quaking Grass’. This plant is common in the Scandinavian region, and is highly regarded for its golden “Japanese lantern” style seed pods that hang from long stems that ‘quake’ with the slightest breeze, giving each plant a charming quality that makes a field of Doxia dance with lively energy.

Ohlsen captured the delicacy and movement of this beautiful plant, in beautifully and delicately rendered leaves and stems of sage green, surmounted by seed pods rendered in gold. Each spray of Doxia is slightly different, demonstrating the skill of the painters of this ware.

This work was produced by painters who also painted the famous Danish botanical paintings on the illustrious ‘Flora Danica’ porcelain service produced by Royal Copenhagen The botanical motif is restricted to small central areas and sides of the individual plates and serving pieces, allowing the beautiful pale cream color of the porcelain to serve as the primary decorative element.

‘Quaking Grass’ was primarily sold in Europe and the United Kingdom, and was extremely expensive when new, with a full dinner service for 14 with serving pieces selling for nearly $5,000 in the Late-1950’s–an astronomical sum at a time when a service for 12 of Noritake, sold for around $150.00

Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass

Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass

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Royal Copenhagen Fensmark

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark

Thorkild Ohlsen (1890-1973) was a Danish landscape painter and porcelain designer who produced a number of significant porcelain dinner services for Royal Copenhagen beginning in the early 1930’s.

Ohlsen was originally employed by Royal Copenhagen Porcelain in 1908, and was an important collaborator of Nils Thorsson. He continued to paint and exhibit his work during his lifetime.

At Royal Copenhagen he worked with both modeling and decoration, especially over-and underglaze painting, and he participated in the development of glazes. In his early work, a series of crackle ware from 1920 , is the decoration of iron red and gold, usually with botanical motifs.

I think one of the most elegant dinnerware ranges he designed was “Fensmark” c1930s– named after a town in Denmark of the same name. It is also known by its pattern number “1010”. It was in production for decades and the forms were used on a number of dinnerware series.

 

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Trio

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Trio

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Milk Jug

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Milk Jug

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Tureen

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Tureen

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Bowl

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Bowl

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Milk Jug

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Soup Plate

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Candle Holders

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Candle Holders

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Teapot

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Teapot

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Plate

Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Plate

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Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen 1965-1988

Ellen Malmer ( b1942 – ) is another of the great designers and artists who worked for Royal Copenhagen at the height of its popularity in the mid to late twentieth century. She was part of the group working with Nils Thorsson producing the now iconic Baca and Tenera series for Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen.

She trained at the Design School in Copenhagen and started with Royal Copenhagen as a designer in 1965 working there until 1988, primarily with Fajance ware. After leaving Royal Copenhagen she has worked in her own right as an Artist in the fields of textiles and collage/painting.

Each Designer who worked with fajance ware at Royal Copenhagen became known for their unique style of design, decoration, use of colour, and motifs – and the work of Ellen Malmer is no exception.

We often see only the most popular Baca and Tenera designs these days by Ellen due to their higher production, but they represent only a small range of her designs. I have tried to capture a wide cross section of her designs in the images below.

I really like the graphic and textural qualities of her designs, along with her subtle use of tone and colour. If I had to pick a favourite it would be the Nucella design dinnerware in blue. The shapes for this series were designed by Inge-Lise Kofoed and Leif Lautrup-Larsen, and the Pattern design by Ellen Malmer in 1966.

Royal Copenhagen, Ellen Malmer Pattern 962

Royal Copenhagen, Ellen Malmer Pattern 962

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 962

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 962

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 617

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 617

Ellen Malmer Vase Pattern 661, Royal Copenhagen

Ellen Malmer Vase Pattern 661, Royal Copenhagen. Image via Pinterest.

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen, Pattern 657

Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen, Pattern 657, Image via Pinterest.

Royal Copenhagen Pattern 635 - Design Ellen Malmer

Royal Copenhagen Pattern 635 – Design Ellen Malmer

Royal Copenhagen Pattern 953 Ellen Malmer

Royal Copenhagen Pattern 953 Ellen Malmer

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Royal Copenhagen Aluminia Oranjga//Tureby Design

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen, Tureby or Oranja Design

Oranja or Tureby, designed for Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen by Nils Thorsson in 1934. (It is also known as pattern 254).

The base colour is probably best described as an off-white with greyish tones, and it has an exquisitely detailed basket weave design around the rims in an orange-red colour, finished off with gold. Such a great colour combination.

Below are some of the pieces in this design I have had.  The candlesticks are the standout – very festive, with their alternating orange white and gold stripes.

All the shapes have a lovely soft and rounded form to them – particularly noticeable with the cups.

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Cup, Saucer, Plate

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Cup, Saucer, Plate

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Serving Tureen

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Serving Tureen

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Main Plate

Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Tureby Main Plate

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Royal Copenhagen, Baca & Tenera Series

Royal Copenhagen. The Baca and Tenera Series

Both the  Tenera and Baca series from Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen were hugely popular in their time, and their popularity continues to this day on the resale market.

In a previous article about Nils Thorsson I listed the ranges he designed which includes the beautiful “Tenera” and “Baca” series in the 1960’s while Artistic Director of Royal Copenhagen-Aluminia. Tenera was the first of these 2 started c1958, followed by Baca c1964. Both series ran for many years.

Thorsson designed most of the shapes for this range, and the group of Artists and Designers under him each designed their own patterns and motifs. Ellen Malmer designed 14 of the forms and some were designed by the other artists.

This group of Artists and Designers consisted primarily of: Berte Jessen, Marianne Johnson, Ellen Malmer, Kari Christensen, Beth Breyen and Grete Helland-Hansen, Johannes Gerber, Anne Marie Trolle and Ivan Weiss

The Baca series consists of approximately 94 shapes or forms, with around 105 different designs or patterns. A glazing technique was developed by Nils so that each piece turned out slightly differently, giving them a hand-crafted appearance due to the nature of the glaze.

It is said that the name BACA comes from the Latin word for “ring” (i.e. circle) and the signature of each artist is on the backstamp of each piece inside a circle. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine just by the pattern if a piece is from the Baca or Tenera series, so an easy way to remember is that if the cypher is inside a circle it is from Baca.

Ellen Malmer Vase, Royal Copenhagen Baca Series

Ellen Malmer Vase, Royal Copenhagen Baca Series

Ellen Malmer Vase, Royal Copenhagen Baca Series

Ellen Malmer Vase, Royal Copenhagen Baca Series – Backstamp showing Ellen’s cypher inside the circle, the pattern number (top line), shape number (bottom line) Royal Copenhagen backstamp, The Juliane Mark (3 waves) and the painters initial “A”.

Nils Thorsson , Royal Copenhagen Vase, Pattern 710

Nils Thorsson , Royal Copenhagen Baca Series Vase, Pattern 710

Nils Thorsson , Royal Copenhagen Vase, Pattern 710

Nils Thorsson , Royal Copenhagen Vase, Pattern 710 on shape 3455, with the backstamp showing Nils cypher inside the circle, the Royal Copenhagen mark, the Juliane Mark, painters initial (t) and an original shop label.

The pieces from both the Baca and Tenera series are marked with 2 sets of numbers on the backstamp The number on the top line is the design or pattern number, and the bottom number is the form or shape number.

There will also be the logo for Aluminia or Royal Copenhagen with the 3 Waves, and the painters initials. Read more

Royal Copenhagen, Soholm – Identifying Factory Seconds

Royal Copenhagen & Soholm Denmark,  Factory Seconds

It is important to know if you are spending a lot of money on a piece of Royal Copenhagen if it is a factory FIRST, or factory SECOND as often the appearance of the piece will often give no indication of it being a second. Any pieces coming out of the Royal Copenhagen (and Alumina) factories which did not meet the standard for perfection are marked as “seconds”.

This was done by etching a very fine short line, through the 3 Royal Copenhagen lines with a diamond cuter. A second mark will usually mean that the piece is worth less depending on the rarity and popularity of the piece, as seconds were sold at a 25-30% discount at the factory shop.

The pieces I come across most often marked as seconds are those from the 1950s and 1960s from the Tenera and Baca series under the direction of Nils Thorsson. Some designs in these series were inconsistent in how they fired in the kiln – and if too far from the desired look, they were marked as seconds and sold in the factory outlets. In other cases pieces could be marked as seconds because of tiny firing cracks (figurines mainly) or other small faults. However sometimes there seems to be nothing at all to indicate why it is a second.

Often this marking is invisible to the naked eye unless it catches the light, so with every piece of Royal Copenhagen it is best to run a finger over the back stamp, and you will feel immediately if the piece has been marked as second quality.  Sometimes the fault is visible, sometimes not.

The second marks are very hard to photograph because they are usually so fine – but you should be able to make them out in the images below: Read more

Noomi Backhausen, Denmark

Noomi Backhausen – Jespersen, Denmark.

Noomi Backhausen (29.12.1938 – 21.05.2011) is best known for her work at Soholm Pottery on Bornholm, Denmark.

She worked there between 1966-1990, and later continued to work on Bornholm in her own studio.

The Soholm designs by Noomi I tend to see most often are from the Cactus Series, (decor by Noomi, forms by Paul Brandborg) the Erika Series (decor Noomi, forms Paul Brandborg) series, and of course Noomi’s plethora of charming designs for stoneware wall plaques which Soholm Pottery has become very well known for.

Noomi’s designs are always bold and expressive, but also joyful and occasionally playful.

 

Noomi Backhausen, Erica Bowl, Soholm

Noomi Backhausen, Erica Bowl, Soholm

Noomi Backhausen, Large Cactus Series Urn , Soholm

Noomi Backhausen, Large Cactus Series Urn , Soholm

Noomi , Soholm Design 3268-2

Noomi Backhausen, Soholm Design 3268-2

There are many other series designed by her, but the images here are of items that have passed through my hands at some stage.

With the wall plaque designs the form or shape number can be found stamped on the back. Sometimes there are a number of colour/pattern variations of each wall plaque – and this is signified by a single digit after the 4 digits of the shape number (e.g. 3589 2 ). Many of the designs seem to have 2-3 variations.

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3563

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3563

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3556

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3556

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3595

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3595

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3558

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3558

Noomi, Soholm Plaque, 3589 (2)

Noomi, Soholm Plaque, 3589 (2)

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3574

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 3574 (2)

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3571

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3571

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3574

Noomi, Soholm Plaque 3574 (1)

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 4990

Noomi, Soholm, Plaque 4990

It isn’t as well known but later in life Noomi worked In her own studio on Bornholm, where she produced huge ceramic table tops. Read more