Georg Jensen (1866-1935), Danish silversmith

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS
Featured in:
August 2018

William Gregory MRICS of Golding Young & Mawer brings you news from the sales room.
Georg Jensen was an early twentieth century silversmith whose influence is still felt today.

Born in 1866 in Raadvad, Denmark, he studied as a goldsmith in Copenhagen from the age of 14. After his apprenticeship he studied to become a sculptor, graduating from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1892.

His first job was as a modeller for the Bing & Grøndahl porcelain factory, and shortly afterwards he set up his own pottery studio in conjunction with Christian Petersen. In 1901 he abandoned ceramics and worked as a silversmith for the celebrated artist Mogens Ballin. Three years later he set up his own silversmiths in Copenhagen.

Georg Jensen embraced the fashionable designs of Art Nouveau and Scandinavian forms. His creations quickly became sought after and popular, so much so that by the end of the 1920s he had expanded his headquarters and opened outlets in Berlin, London and New York.

After Jensen’s death, the business carried on with remarkable success by using several well-known designers like Harald Nielsen, Sigvaard Bernadotte, Nanna Ditzel and Arno Malinowski. The timeless designs of Jensen and latterly his team of designers are a testament to Scandinavian craftsmanship and practicality, ultimately making them incredibly desirable when offered at auction.

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