Royal Copenhagen /Royal Copenagen /


Royal Copenhagen /Royal Copenagen /

Royal Manufactory.

The factory was founded in 1760 .

The first attempts to obtain porcelain mass, which were made in Denmark in 1731, were unsuccessful. And the next ones, conducted in 1750-1757, also did not bring the desired results. And only the discovery of kaolin deposits on the island of Bornholm by Niels Birch in 1756 made it possible to successfully complete long-term research.

In 1760, the first Danish porcelain factory was founded in the Blue Tower in the Christianhavn district of Copenhagen. At first, the factory was run by the Meissen artist Melhorn, but due to shortcomings in his work, he was soon fired. For a short time, he was replaced by the faience master from Kastrup, Jakub Fortlin. But the real work of the factory began with the arrival of the Frenchman Louis Fournier, who managed the factory in 1761-1765. He was an experienced ceramicist who had studied porcelain well during his work in Sevres and Vincennes. Fournier produced soft porcelain in Copenhagen. The composition of its mass, as well as models and decor were made on the model of Sevre. Basically, cups, plates, jugs and vases in the Rococo style were produced. When decorating large dishes, floral festoons were applied.

Fournier's successor was Franz Heinrich Muller from Copenhagen. After numerous trials, in 1773 he independently mastered the technique of producing solid porcelain. And this decided the future fate of the factory. In 1775 it became a joint-stock company, where most of the shares were owned by members of the royal family. In 1779, the factory passed to the state. It received the name "Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactory" and since 1780 had its own store in Copenhagen. Muller managed the factory until 1802, after which he retired.

Under his leadership, the Copenhagen factory experienced its best period. Danish decorators such as Ondrup and Kamrad worked at the factory, but in addition, Muller invited several good artists from Berlin to Copenhagen, among them Tomashevsky, Lehman and Gadevitz. This affected the style of the products at that time, which became similar to Berlin. The most spectacular works of the Copenhagen factory include large decorative vases. An egg-shaped shape on a funnel-shaped leg with side handles in the form of mascarons was typical. A figurine of a chubby-cheeked baby putto was often placed on the lid of vases. The body of the vase was decorated with medallions with portraits or heraldry, as well as plate garlands. Sometimes portrait figures, fashionable in the XVIII century, were placed in medallions.

Of other products, it is worth mentioning coffee and table sets, as well as figurines. The decoration of tableware depended on its purpose. In addition to richly decorated sets for the royal court, cheaper tableware for everyday use was produced. To produce the figures, Muller hired a fashion designer from a factory in Furstenberg, who used his 116 old models in his work, sometimes without any changes. And although the influence of German factories was very strong at that time, sometimes purely Danish features were also manifested. This applies to paintings and, less often, figurines: for example, a peasant woman with a chicken in her hands. Definitely Danish is the largest product of the factory - a service called "Flora of Denmark". It was intended for the Russian Empress Catherine II and was made for twenty years - from 1790 to 1802. The service was planned for eighty people.

In 1796 Catherine II died without waiting for the end of the work. And then they decided to make a service for the court of the Danish king and increase it to one hundred people. The service was decorated with the image of plants of Denmark, hence the name "Flora of Denmark". The scientific supervision of the painting was carried out by the botanist Theodor Homteld, a student of the famous Swedish naturalist Linnaeus. The decoration was supervised by the famous Nuremberg artist Johann Christoph Bayer. The desire to accurately depict each plant may have somewhat damaged the artistic level as a whole, but still it turned out to be a unique work that has no equal in the history of porcelain. The service is still kept in Rosenborg Castle.

In 1802, after leaving the Muller factory, I. Mantey became his successor. At that time, the factory experienced the biggest crisis. Artistic ambitions decreased, and production was limited to the production of everyday tableware. The situation began to improve in 1824, when Gustav Friedrich Goetsch became director. In those years, besides vases and candlesticks, figurines and sculptural plates were made. In 1864, after the lost war, the Danish government found itself in a difficult financial situation and in 1867 sold the Copenhagen factory to A. Falk. The new owner retained the right to the former name of the factory and its brands. The factory experienced a new heyday during the leadership of the next owner, who was Philip Shaw. A happy and profitable event was the invitation in 1885 to the post of artistic director Arnold Krog, who moved away from the traditional style and gave the products a completely different look.

Krog was one of the first European ceramists who saw the wide opportunities opened up for decorative art thanks to the porcelain invented by Zeger, For him the firing temperature was much lower than the previous one. This made it possible to introduce into the underglaze painting a number of new dyes that cannot withstand high temperatures. Krog perfected the art of using dyes. They began to use a variety of shades of blue, turning into gray, and sometimes into black, shades of red, turning into pink, green and yellow in a variety of variations. Delicate semitones were used, superimposed with a thin layer on the surface.

In this way, an additional effect was achieved, which was created by the whiteness of the porcelain background, shining through the paint In his compositions, Krog took as a model the work of those Japanese masters who managed to preserve the moderation alien to Europeans in filling the surface with details. Krog's famous works include a vase on which he depicted sea waves and seagulls circling in the air, based on a color engraving by the Japanese Hokusai. The theme of other decorations was purely Danish landscape motifs with pastel green of the sea and the whiteness of winter. Another achievement of Krog was the colored glazes on the dishes. The most curious of them is "celadon" - greens in different shades obtained from iron compounds.

In addition to decorative tableware, the Copenhagen factory also made porcelain figurines depicting folk types, characters from Andersen's fairy tales, and especially animals. Copenhagen porcelain was designed by outstanding artists who worked at the factory. After the demonstration at the Paris exhibition in 1889, Copenhagen products became famous and fashionable throughout Europe. Many porcelain manufacturers began to imitate them (and are still imitating them). Although Copenhagen porcelain is expensive, collectors hunt for it. The bluish hue and pastel palette of colors distinguishes it from porcelain from other manufacturers.

The most typical feature of the Copenhagen factory marking is the use of three wavy dashes symbolizing sea waves, always blue.