Georg Jensen Silver

No discussion of antique silverware would be complete without including Georg Jensen silver from one of the most influential silversmiths of the 20th century. Jensen was born in 1866, in a small Danish village. While he apprenticed as a goldsmith, his dream was to be a sculptor, and to that end he studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Art. But though he continued to love art and craftsmanship, he eventually found his calling in metalwork. In 1904 he began his own silversmithy in Copenhagen.

Part of Jensen's lasting appeal is certainly his beautiful, innovative style. He brought Art Nouveau -- which emphasized natural forms and lines -- to the field of silver work. Having grown up in a rural area, his love of nature became an inspiration for him and blended easily into his work. His designs brought together beauty and functionality at a time when industrialization was king and mass-produced, utilitarian goods were the norm. Jensen changed all that; he brought art to the dinner table.

Vintage Sterling Silver Georg Jensen Serving Spoon Model 21 London Import LAYBY
Vintage Sterling Silver Georg Jensen Serving Spoon Model 21 London Import LAYBY $234.35

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PYRAMID EGG CUP 585 pre 1944 DESIGN HARALD NIELSEN FOR GEORG JENSEN IN 1927
PYRAMID EGG CUP 585 pre 1944 DESIGN HARALD NIELSEN FOR GEORG JENSEN IN 1927 $610.00

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Auth GEORG JENSEN No176 Silver 925 Design Bracelet27746
Auth GEORG JENSEN No176 Silver 925 Design Bracelet27746 $540.00

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Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Butterfly Pendant 563 Regitze Overgaard NEW
Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Butterfly Pendant  563 Regitze Overgaard NEW $191.00

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George Jensen Denmark Silver Pendant of the Year 1995 with Silver Stone Heritage
George Jensen Denmark Silver Pendant of the Year 1995 with Silver Stone Heritage $292.67

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Georg Jensen Silver Cake Server Large Bernadotte VINTAGE
Georg Jensen Silver Cake Server Large Bernadotte VINTAGE $540.00

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Of the classic patterns produced by the company until the 1920s, thirteen flatware patterns were designed by Jensen himself. In the early days, each piece of these patterns was handmade, often with unique and creative serving pieces; several of these pieces are now on display in various museums around the world.

But Jensen himself was not the only talented designer in the company. One of the things he was most notable for was his choice of collaborators. Each of the many artists who designed for him was given creative control, as well as full credit for their designs. Among the most well-known artists to have designed for Jensen are Johan Rohde, Gundolph Albertus and Just Andersen.

While Art Nouveau was a primary influence in Jensen's style, as is apparent in the Fuchsia, Lily of the Valley, Akkeleje and Blossom patterns, it was certainly not the only influence. The Dahlia pattern (by Siegfried Wagner) was inspired by traditional Nordic symbolism, while the Continental pattern was inspired by Nordic wooden utensils. The Beaded and Rope patterns -- which both involve intricate detail work that had to be handcrafted -- are two more examples of lasting classics that do not fit within the natural lines of Art Nouveau.

Jensen antique silverware is set apart by its design artistry, excellent craftsmanship, beauty and functionality. These are the reasons why, almost a century later, his designs are still among the most beautiful and sought-after.