Tureen and Tray

Georg Jensen Danish

Not on view

Although apprenticed as a teenager to a goldsmith, Jensen went on to study sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Difficulty earning a living as a sculptor forced him to find work with several Danish ceramics manufacturers, including Bing & Grøhndahl. In 1901 he returned to metalworking and by 1904 he was able to open his own, now-famous silversmith business. In addition to his own designs he produced those of a number of others whose names would become synonymous with the Jensen brand, including Johan Rohde, Harald Nielsen, and Sigvard Bernadotte. Jensen's own designs demonstrate his training as a sculptor and his skill as a designer. This monumental tureen—as much about ceremonial display as utility—displays tour-de-force showmanship, disciplined aesthetic control, and awareness of functional concerns. Its spectacular form, while rooted in tradition, makes no overtly historical references. Here, Jensen's signature cast-silver natural motifs play a practical role: they serve as handles, allowing the user to maintain a solid grip on this heavy object.

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