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Posts from the ‘Royal Copenhagen’ Category

Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen “Gunhild” Plate Set, Nils Thorsson

I had part of a series of the Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen fajance plates pictured below some time ago, and eventually sold them on.

Years later as often happens, I have stumbled across their designer and name. I loved the orange brown autumn tones, and the beautifully hand painted motifs of fruits and flowers.

While looking through an auction catalogue at Lauritz.com recently I stumbled upon a whole set of these fruit plates as it was originally configured, and a quick bit of research led to finding out more of their story.

The series name was apparently “Gunhild” and was designed by Nils Thorsson for Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen 1933, and in production until 1968 from what I have read.

They seem to hard to get hold of, but not that expensive if you do find them.

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

 

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

Aluminia Gunhild Plate set Nils Thorsson, Aluminia – Photo Lauritz.com DK

Aluminia Gunhild Plate, Nils Thorsson, Aluminia

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Nils Thorsson Løvspring, Royal Copenhagen 1943

I bought the vase below at auction some time ago, not knowing anything about the design – but it just had that quality of something special.

With help of a reader in the U.K. who had the design in another shape, it was finally identified when she wrote to Royal Copenhagen who identified the design.

“Your vase is actually very rare. So rare that it is not mentioned in the book about “Aluminia” by E. Winge Flensborg, which has a list of the known items of a small series of vases from 1943/44, named “Løvspring”, by Nils Thorsson. Aluminia was the earthenware factory run together with The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory. Due to the situation under the war there was a shortage of raw materials and Thorsson sought to come up with alternative materials. This series is made from red clay. The items came with glazes in various colours: Yellow, brown, green and blue over a scrafitto-decoration.  It was a very short lived production.”

The piece is made from terracotta clay and the surface colour comes from what appears to be a clay slip brushed over the clay and then covered with a clear low fired (borax probably) glaze which is pitted with tiny air bubbles typical of low fired glazes using easily available inexpensive materials. The sgraffito design is really makes the piece. Like many early pieces of Nils Thorsson it is not signed, but stamped for 1944. The shape is number 2338 – (16x 12cm).

Since being identified, I have seen the design on odd occasions, but it remains an elusive design.

Royal Copenhagen, Nils Thorsson - Løvspring

Royal Copenhagen, Nils Thorsson – Løvspring

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Knud Kyhn

Knud  Kyhn  1880-1969

Knud Khyn was a an accomplished Danish painter, draughtsman and ceramic sculptor. My interest in his work lies in his evocative, superbly modelled ceramics.

He worked at Royal Copenhagen over several periods –  c1903-1910, c1924-1932 and c1936-1967.

He also worked at Herman Kähler’s Pottery c1920-1924 and also at Bing & Grondahl 1908-1915 and 1933-1935.

His animal figurines capture so so well the mass and expression of his subjects, in addition to capturing the essence of their characters, how they move, and how they play. Many of these figurines use a glaze popular at Royal Copenhagen during this era – an iron rich “Sung” glaze – (fired in the kiln once only)

The figurines I come across most often are the “3 bears” by Knud, which come in several sizes. Going by the number of them that come up for sale still on the secondary market they seem to have been the most popular.  There is so much more Knud Kyhn work to discover though, and pictured below are some examples.

Pieces like the Royal Copenhagen studio pottery bowl with the blue hand-painted bull motif below, are much rarer and harder to find – as are some of the “production” stoneware pieces like the “Mare and Foal” Royal Copenhagen bowl.

Together with his wife Julie Bloch Kyhn, Knud also operated a studio from their home in Farum from 1934. Pottery from this studio is usually marked FK for Farum Keramik .

This studio in 1993 was apparently opened to the public but from what I can gather, it was later donated by Bodil Kyhn (Knud’s Daughter) to the Farum Municipality which later sold the house, and the works were donated to the Næstved Museum. Kyhn’s work is also widely represented in major galleries around the world.

You can read Knud Kyhn’s full biography on Weilbach’s datatbase here  

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen, Elephant Figurine

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen, Elephant Figurine

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen, Elephant Figurine

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen, Elephant Figurine

Knud Kyhn, Mare & Foal Bowl, Royal Copenhagen

Knud Kyhn, Mare & Foal Bowl, Royal Copenhagen

Knud Kyhn, Mare & Foal Bowl, Royal Copenhagen

Knud Kyhn, Mare & Foal Bowl, Royal Copenhagen Base Shot

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen Studio Bowl

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen Studio Bowl

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen Studio Bowl

Knud Kyhn, Royal Copenhagen Studio Bowl

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