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Posts tagged ‘Royal Copenhagen’

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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Anne Marie Trolle – Royal Copenhagen

Anne Marie Trolle, Royal Copenhagen

Anne Marie Trolle (b1944- ) was one of the designers under the direction of Nils Thorsson in the group who created the now iconic Baca and Tenera series.

She also produced some very impressive designs for Royal Copenhagen in the 1970s and 1980s.

2 of Anne Marie’s designs which really stand out from the crowd to me are “Floreana” and “Indigo”.

My favourite is the Tea Caddy, from the Floreana series in 1982.

Royal Copenhagen Floreana Tea Caddy

Royal Copenhagen Floreana Tea Caddy

Royal Copenhagen Floreana Tea Caddy

Royal Copenhagen Floreana Tea Caddy

Part of a series of repeated shapes produced in a choice of patterns based on leaves and spotted fruits. Trolle recorded that this was inspired by a study trip to the Galapagos Islands, the decoration – and to some extent the shapes – reflect Danish artists’ traditional and instinctive response to oriental influences.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O168193/floreana-tea-caddy-and-trolle-anne-marie

But it is hard to go past “Indigo” for its clean Scandinavian forms and striking deep cobalt blue graphics. It was designed in 1975 by Anne Marie and was in production until 1985. Read more

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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Ellen Malmer, Royal Copenhagen Pattern 627

I recently discovered a design by Ellen Malmer for the BACA series at Royal Copenhagen I haven’t come across previously.

I have written about the designs by Ellen Malmer previously HERE, and the story of the BACA series HERE if you are unfamiliar with either.

This simple and bold pattern is number 627, and it is placed onto form 3587 – a wide flat bowl in this case.

I love the bold simplicity of this design, and the contrast of the white background, dark brown outline and orange peel texture of the caramel coloured main design. To me it appears to be a simplified design of apples or pears cut in half, and repeated around the form.

I haven’t been able to find any other forms where this pattern has been used, but if you know of any I would love to hear from you.

Ellen Malmer 627, Royal Copenhagen Read more

Royal Copenhagen Fredensborg 937

Royal Copenhagen 937

Royal Copenhagen Fredendsborg (design no. 937) is a beautiful plain cream coloured porcelain design, with a luxurious gold trim.

It is a design by Thorkild Ohlsen who designed the famous Fensmark and Quaking Grass Designs I have posted about previously.

The pieces in this are the same shape and size and colour as Fensmark and Quaking Grass, but it always amazes me how a change of colour and pattern (or in this case no pattern) can transform a form.

The glaze on this series (937) has a luxurious clotted cream colour, with an equally luxuriant gold trim on the pieces.

Simple, elegant and timeless.

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg Stamp

Royal Copenhagen, Design 937, Fredensborg Stamp on shape 9481

Royal Copenhagen “Annette”

Royal Copenhagen Annette

This stunning and now quite rare pattern was designed by Berte Jessen in the 1960’s for Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen. It is a hard design to find, and if you are a lover of mid 20th Century design, well worth grabbing hold of if you come across it.

It has to be one of the most beautiful designs I have come across by Berte. It consists of a simple daisy motif medallion either by itself or repeated around the form. The blue glaze is wonderfully textured and has blue hues which vary from aquamarine to a deep cobalt blue with an overall hint of violet. I love the texture and depth of colour she manages to get in her designs, combined with preciseness and flair.

The pattern is called “Annette” and each piece has slight variations in colour and texture, accentuating the handmade feel of the wares.

It is so beautiful to the touch as well. It is from the very important “Tenera” series I have written about previously.

Royal Copenhagen Annette

Royal Copenhagen Annette Tea Cup, Saucer, Plate

Royal Copenhagen Annette

Royal Copenhagen Annette (plate)

Royal Copenhagen Annette

Royal Copenhagen Annette (saucer)

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Gerd Bogelund, Royal Copenhagen

Gerd Bogelund (1923-1987)

Gerd worked at Royal Copenhagen while studying until 1942, then briefly worked at Saxbo before returning to Royal Copenhagen in 1946 as an Artist in Residence for many years. Her work is highly sought after by collectors, but hard to find here in Australia.

I was fortunate enough to find the pieces in the first two images a few years ago, but it is only the second time I have come across the work of this designer in about 10 years.

She is best known for her beautifully and intricately patterned stoneware pieces at Royal Copenhagen, typical of the examples below, but did also design some equally impressive porcelain pieces – often with blue or celadon glazes. Read more