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Posts tagged ‘Nils Thorsson’

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 719

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 719

Design or Pattern number 719 by Nils Thorsson for Royal Copenhagen/Aluminia is one of the most recognised and popular designs from the BACA series in the 1960s.

The design is such a beautifully complex mixture of subtle colours, line patterns and textures – and the design contains elements which don’t reveal themselves immediately to the viewer.

On most pieces the design consists of outlined or framed elements joined together with lines and repeat patterns. Inside the framed components are designs of fish – sometimes a repeat pattern, sometimes a single fish.

Other elements appear to be floral – or perhaps they are seaweed or other aquatic flora. The more you study one of these pieces, the more the design reveals itself to you.

In addition to the design, the complex nature of the glazes which Nils developed for the BACA series, means that each piece turned out slightly different when fired in the kiln – adding to the “handmade” appearance of each piece.

 

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 719

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 719

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 719

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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 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.

Johanne Gerber Design 792

Johanne Gerber Design 792, BACA Series 

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

Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Nils Johan Thorvald Thorsson (1898 – 1975)

Ceramic artist and designer for Royal Copenhagen – Aluminia.

Nils joined Royal Copenhagen as an apprentice in 1912, and graduated from the royal Danish Academy in 1917. He went on to become Royal Copenhagen’s most prolific designer. He was Artistic director at Royal Copenhagen from 1949 while also artistic director of Aluminia also from 1928-1969.

(Aluminia pottery works was established in Copenhagen in 1863. In 1882, the owners of Aluminia purchased Royal Copenhagen factory. The factories were operated independently under their respective trade names until 1969, when the use of the Aluminia name was ended)

Nils designed at least 5 of  best known production ranges for Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen – Solberg (1930’s), Marselis (1950’s) Tenera (1960’s), Baca (1960’s), Diana (1970’s)

Nils Thorsson, Marselis Series Vase - Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson, Marselis Series Vase – Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson, Solberg Series Vase

Nils Thorsson, Solberg Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen//Aluminia

Nils Thorsson Diana Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson Diana Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen

He also produced many exquisite art pieces in high fired glazes that are lesser known and hard to find. For the Baca and Tenera series he designed the forms (shapes) – and other members of his team designed the patterns. The patterns which he designed will have his cypher on the base.

Nils Thorsson Cypher (bottom)

Nils Thorsson Cypher (bottom in circle)

Baca Pattern 708, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 708, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 723, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 723, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 721, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 721, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 734, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 734, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 720, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 720, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Thorsson, Baca Pattern 719, Royal Copenhagen

Thorsson, Baca Pattern 719, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 719, On Square Bowl, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 719, On Square Bowl, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Nils also designed the Morgenfrue and Oranja (Tureby) dinnerware series amongst others.

Oranja/Tureby Tureen, Design Nils Thorsson, Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen

Oranja Tureen, Design Nils Thorsson, Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen

Morgenfrue Cup/Saucer Aluminia, Nils Thorsson

Morgenfrue Cup/Saucer Aluminia, Nils Thorsson

Nils body of work is so large that it is hard to capture a picture of it as a whole, as of course it changed during his lifetime spent at Royal Copenhagen. However his form and pattern designs from the 1950s – 1970’s, especially from the BACA and TENERA ranges, were and remain some of Royal Copenhagen’s most popular works coveted as being prime examples of mid-century and Danish modernism. Read more

Royal Copenhagen Mid-Century Bird Motif Designs

Royal Copenhagen Mid-Century Bird Designs

Bird designs and motifs were a prominent in the mid 20th century ceramics……and some of the best bird motif designs came from Royal Copenhagen//Aluminia, Denmark during the Nils Thorsson directed Baca and Tenera period of designs in the 1960s

Many of these designs featured blue colour schemes, and the designs seem to have been hugely popular going by the amount produced. Here are just some that I have come across featuring the colour blue and a bird motif.

Nils Thorsson, Bird Design Bowl, Royal Copenhagen Tenera Series

Nils Thorsson, Bird Design Bowl, Royal Copenhagen Tenera Series

Royal Copenhagen Salt Box - Beth Breyen Design

Royal Copenhagen Salt Box – Beth Breyen Design – This design by Beth has become on of the most recognisable of this period at Royal Copenhagen, and was featured on many forms.

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