L Hjorth Denmark Urn
This beautiful handmade stoneware vase is from L. Hjorth, Bornholm, Denmark. I love the colour and texture of the glaze, in addition to the form and level of craftsmanship the piece displays.
The glaze indicates a studio piece from the 1960’s or 1970’s with its blue mottled appearance. It was a glaze which was very popular in this era with many manufacturers and potters.
The urn is stamped only with the L.Hjorth stamp, and does not have the reindeer mark – the lack of which would normally indicate that this was produced pre 1927 – but there are exceptions to this rule, and you can find pieces made in the 1960s and 1970s which have no reindeer stamp.
Looking through the old Hjorth catalogues online however, I think I have found the series this piece was copied from in the 1916 catalogue, the title of which translates as “copies of Bornholm excavations”. Copies from which era I’m not sure, as Bornholm has been occupied since pre-historic times by several races/tribes of peoples. The form of this piece has a very Roman Empire look to it though.
Apparently the original pieces made in 1916 as copies of the Bornholm excavations had little in the way of glaze or decoration either – and were a reddish brown, or natural clay colour.
Whatever the story – A fascinating link to history through a beautifully made piece of early 20th Century pottery. The beauty of Danish pottery never ceases to astound me.
There is so much more to Hjorth Pottery than the commonly seen Art Nouveau style terracotta coloured pottery.
Many artists, potters and designers have been associated with the factory, creating a huge diversity of styles.
One of the most influential ceramicists at Hjorth was Gertrud Kudielka was born in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia). She was a visiting artist 1930-1931, 1934-1936 and 1938-1939. After WWII she fled her homeland and moved to Denmark where she became a citizen in 1957.
Some other important Hjorth artists are:
Holger Drachmann (painter/poet 1846-1908)
Kristian Zahrtmann (painter 1888-1968)
Gertrud Kudielka (1896-1984)
Adam Fischer (1888-1968)(sculptor)
Lisbeth Munch-Petersen (1909-1997)
Ursula Munch-Petersen (1937-)
Jane Reumert (1942-2016
Ulla Gahrn (1937 – )
Eva Sjögren (1925 – )
But there were many more including visiting artists and ceramicists.
Hjorth Bowl – Design by Gertrud Kudielka – typical of her decorative patterns with a folk look to the design.
Hjorth Bowl – Design by Gertrud Kudielka
L. Hjorth Denmark
The Hjorth Factory was located in Roenne on Bornholm, and island off Denmark, founded in 1859 . It operated until 1993 and then re-openend in 1995 as a working museum. For much of its history it was operated by descendants of Lautriz Hjorth, its original founder.
In the 1880’s Hjorth pottery was being sold in the department stores of Paris, London and Berlin, and as far away as Australia and the United States.
Danish Pottery, 1876 Art Journal
The image above is from “The Art Journal 1876”. The engraving is entitled “Pottery of Denmark” which “has obtained large estimation in England and is highly valued in America” quotes the notation on the page, and goes on to say “the more prominent productions of Denmark are either copies from or adaptions of the forms and ornamentation of Etruria”
The pottery is not named, but some of it is early HJORTH pottery as in the Hjorth Catalogue for 1884. Read more