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Posts from the ‘Kronjyden Nissen’ Category

Identifying Royal Copenhagen & Other Danish Factory Seconds

Identifying Royal Copenhagen & Other Danish 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

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Jens Quistgaard Ceramic & Rosewood Humidors, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ceramic & Rosewood Humidors

Apart from the dinnerware designs Jens Quistgaard created in the 1960s and 1970s for Kronyjden Nissen he created a series of beautiful ceramic/rosewood accessories for cigarettes, smoking and cigars.

While this might seem odd to use these days, let’s not forget this was at a time when smoking was seen as a normal part of daily life, and often portrayed as aspirational.

The pieces he created included humidors, ashtrays, cigarette jars etc. They were pieces made to be proudly displayed as luxury items.

The glazes used were mostly from the azure and umber dinnerware series, combined with the most beautifully crafted and sculpted rosewood lids on many of the pieces which Quistgaard also designed.

These designs  also complimented a now iconic series designed by Quistgaard known as the “Rare Wood Table Top Collection” of trays, bowls, ice buckets, pepper mills for Dansk Designs in 1961.

Lettering was used on the ceramic surfaces as a decorative technique to stunning effect, with a repeated word embossed on to the clay body, accentuating the beauty of the glaze and form.

It is not often you find wood and clay combined well – but Quistgaard did so to perfection in these designs.

Below are some of the pieces I have come across, but there are several more designs in this series which is now very hard to find, and keenly sought by design collectors.

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen – Top View

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigarette Jar, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigarette Jar, Kronjyden Nissen

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Mexico Design, Kronjyden Nissen, Denmark

“Mexico” Kronjyden Nissen, Denmark.

At the end of the 1960s into the 1970s a new group of series was produced by Kronjyden Nissen Denmark, all on the same shape (form no 38). This group of designs started with Tema, then followed closely with Mexico & Columbia.

It is often purported that these designs were by Jens Quistgaard – but there seems to be no documentation around this. One theory is that he did design them, but did not want his name attributed to the designs due to a perceived conflict of interest with his Dansk Design company. To me looking at the forms and the decor of Tema & Mexico, they look and feel like designs by Quistgaard, but without a clear record this can not be confirmed.

Tema became the highest selling dinner service in Denmark at the time (mid 1970s) – although I find Mexico much more impressive looking and interesting. The way the Mexico glaze behaves on the form lifts the design to a whole new level, and lifts the otherwise plain and functional form of  Tema to me.

Peru on form 45, and Coppelia on form 46 followed, but interest in stoneware dinnerware was now starting to decline, and by 1988 Kronjyden Nissen closed and was taken over by Bing & Grondahl/Royal Copenhagen. B&G continued producing some of the designs for several years and you will often find services such as “Cordial”, “Rune”, & “Contrast ” with the Bing & Grondahl backstamp.

Mexico Design, Jug Form, Jens Quistgaard, Kronjyden Nissen

Mexico Design, Jug Form, Kronjyden Nissen

 

Mexico Design, Sugar Bowl, Jens Quistgaard, Kronjyden Nissen

Mexico Design, Sugar Bowl, Kronjyden Nissen

 

Mexico Design, Large Tea Cup Jens Quistgaard, Kronjyden Nissen

Mexico Design, Large Tea Cup Kronjyden Nissen

 

Mexico Design, Teapot, Jens Quistgaard, Kronjyden Nissen

Mexico Design, Teapot, Kronjyden Nissen

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