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A short History of modern Danish Silver Jewelry

The concept of jewelry is timeless. People have always had an instinctive desire to adorn themselves.The quarter century up to the year 1900 embraced the onset of the modern age. Names of the creators started to appear and the art of jewelry making had begun. Decorative arts revealed themselves in techniques, materials, influences and themes. Jewelry was one of the most visible and exciting ways to display ones taste.

ART NOUVEAU was a French design movement. Notably the jewels by RENE LALIQUE who was also famed for his glass designs.

Car mascots made during the 1920s are rare and very desirable. Germany made waves with `JUGENDSTIL` and in Britain it included the GLASGOW SCHOOL, LIBERTY & CO and many others.

GEORG JENSEN silver is made in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Jensen`s early designs were dominated by motives from nature but became more stylized and simplified later on. The pieces were always arresting and outstanding in their craftsmanship and beauty. Georg Jensen lived from 1866 to 1935 and is heralded as the greatest silversmith of the last 300 years. He trained at the MIKKELSEN SILVERSMITHY during the 1890s. This company was founded in 1841 and amalgamated with the ROYAL COPENHAGEN concern in 1968. Jensen was nearly 40 years old when he started his own company. His revolutionary work caught the eyes of `Art Nouveau`- trendsetters and by the end of the 1920s his company had grown to establish shops in Germany, Britain and America. In the ART DECO era he continued to produce silver jewelry adding geometric form to its repertoire of stylized motives.

These styles were quickly imitated by a host of European and American jewellers.

Jensen took on gifted silver designers. The sculptor HENNING KOPPEL joined during the early 1950s. His work was more sculptural and he continued designing well into the 1960s. Apart from jewelry he also created hollow wares with sublime lines. His pitcher and bowl are unsurpassed.The function of an object was a decisive factor.

Well known designers joined over the years. Many artists have left their own personal stamp like Vivianna Torun Buelow-Huebe who broke with tradition and created new organic shapes. The eye catching sterling silver jewelry range of `ETERNITY` bangles, ear clips and brooches will be recognized by many. Each item is distinctive and true to the spirit of Georg Jensen.

One of the most unusual things about the way Jensen worked is the free reign he gave to the designers he employed. He nurtured more than 90 crafts people throughout his working life. The Georg Jensen collectable `gold plated silver` dessert spoons are designed to be used for the Christmas table.Many other notable silver smiths were and still are producing their own jewelry inspired by the work of Georg Jensen. To name but a few.

Christian Veilskov, Eric From and Andreas Mikkelsen. Danish silver is celebrated world wide. Wearing a piece of Danish jewelry makes one stand out from the crowd.

Beatrix Forbes is stocking Danish Silver Jewelry on a regular basis in the Antiques Centre (Cabinet 1) of Antiques On High, High Street Oxford.

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