Georg Jensen - Pure elegance since 1904
The Danish silversmith Georg Arthur Jensen founded the company in the Bredgade, Copenhagen in year 1904. First, he managed only one room. His silver articles/silversmiths works/silver works found quickly appeal and admiration. So the rooms were/the room was too small and in 1912 he moved to the Knippelsbrogade 2-4 and opened a branch in Bredgade. In 1916, the family Wendel involved with the company and simultaneously was renamed as Georg Jensen & Wendel “Limited Liability Company”. The founder remained director and artistic leader. The company remained with his Art Nouveau works on success track, so that a workshop for the manufacture of the products soon no longer sufficient/needed. The production transferred to a new factory building n 1917. In 1926 Georg Jensen shifted/switched to the supervisory board and the artistic director of the company remained until his death in 1935.
Export during the early years
In the early years G. Jensen started to sell abroad. Since 1908 the products are sold in Germany and in 1914 followed by Sweden. To expand the business at abroad, in 1919 the Danish company opened their first shop in Paris and subsequently in 1922 in London, in 1923 in New York and Barcelona as well. This was followed by shops in Brussels, Geneva, Buenos Aires and Stockholm.
The design until 1935
Earlier, Georg Jensen worked with freelance/self-employed artists. The Danish painter Johan Rohde (1856-1935) was the first freelance/self-employed artist in 1906. Likewise in 1915, G. Jensen exhibited itself on the "Panama-Pacific International Exposition" in San Francisco. The press mogul William Randolph Hearst was so impressed with the collection that it bought up all the exhibits. To illustrate the Avangarde designers Harald Nielsen (cutlery pyramid) and the famous designer prince Sigvard Bernadotte are to be mentioned. The Swedish Prince Sigvard Bernadotte later became one of the first industrial designers in the world. In the end of 1920s, the undecorated/unornamented and modern form Rohde was introduced at Jensen.
The era Jørgen Jensen (1895-1966)
In 1935, the son of Jørgen Jensen took over the management of the company. The design was based on more modern uses of form/style such as the organic matter that has been decisively shaped by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The successful collaboration began with the silversmith Henning Koppel. Henning Koppel decisively shaped the style of the company/ Henning Koppel coined the style of the company significantly. His minimalist and highly elegant lines are unique till this day. End users think of the beautiful objects for table and table, his simple jewelry and his wristwatches. His works found global recognition. The first highly polished and with modern design cutlery was designed by the Norwegian Tias Eckhoff in the 1950s. Furthermore, the major Danish architect Finn Juhl, who designed some of glass products and the first stainless steel products for the Danish luxury brand is to be called. In 1957 followed the most famous cutlery of Scandinavia AJ. It was designed by the most famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen for his hotel Royal SAS and initially produced with A. Michelsen. Since 1967 it belongs to the collection of Georg Jensen silverware/cutlery. Moreover, other famous Danish designers and sculptors worked in the epoch J. Jensen like Verner Panton, Kay Bojesen and Grethe Meyer for the luxury brand from Denmark. After the death of Jørgen Jensen in 1966, the family sold the company 1972 to the Carlsberg Brewery which belongs to porcelain manufactory Royal Copenhagen.
After the sale in 1972
Under the new leadership further cooperation was intensified/initiated to work with freelance designers and artists. Additionally, initiatives were taking place to good education for having qualified silversmiths. Among the famous designers of this phase include Allan Sharp, Bo Bonfils, Erik Bagger, Erik Magnussen, Nanna Ditzel, Jørgen Møller, Vivianna Torun Bülow-strokes. Henning Koppel was also preserved/remained as a dominant/formative designer of the company. One of the most famous products of the 1970s is the weather station from 1978 by Henning Koppel. It is probably still the most famous design product from Georg Jensen. Various jewelry and watch designs by Nana Ditzel and Vivianna Bulow-Hübe also attracted great attention. In the beginning of 1980s the cutleries from stainless steel were introduced increasingly in the collection as the famous series Bo Bonfils, Copenhagen, New York and more. A huge success was also the Nøellefant (elephant) from Jørgen Møller at the end of 1980s; JM had designed that for his son.
Introduction of the Christmas Collection 1984
A new Christmas collection was worked on in the early 1980s. The Danish tradition of the collective/collecting collection was the base of the new collection. Thus the Danish tableware brand Bing & Grøndahl has already brought up the first collective/collection plate in 1895, followed by the collective/collection plate from Royal Copenhagen in the 20th century and in the 1930s, the collective/collection bottle of Holmegaard. Since the brands Royal Copenhagen, Holmegaard and Georg Jensen belonged together in the 1980s, the introduction of collective collection for Georg Jensen was almost a natural process. So the first Christmas ornament or even mobile was presented in 1984 called Christmas bell in a heart with bow red band year. The 24-Karat gold plating is another feature that is popular till today. Then about the years tree decorations, tree candle holders, balls and more with motives new over and over again and forms followed by every year. Simultaneously, it was and will always be supplemented with standard items that are available each year, how the popular stars which can be used as a tree top or as a hanging decoration or the popular Advent wreath Season.
Around in the end of 1990s Carlsberg structured its design area after the purchase of Orrefors Kosta Boda in Sweden. The brands were then led by the holding company Royal Scandinavia. Due to the trend of globalization the brewery group separated itself by the division and sold the individual brands. Only Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen remained in the holding company and the premise was taken over by the Danish investment company Axcel in 2001. At this stage, the sale of each business was divided into three segments: jewelry, silver holloware and Living (stainless steel flatware, giftware and seasonal collections).
During this period the unique polished surface of the stainless steel products from the Danish luxury brand was successfully launched under the name Masterpieces. This surface was the first highly polished surface where no fingerprints can be seen on stainless steel products. In the Masterpiece collection former silver hollow goods were offered for the first time at more affordable prices also in stainless steel. As a result, to the collection include the beautiful water pitcher by Henning Koppel, the cutlery series Bernadotte under the pitcher of water (converted into a jug) of Prince Sigvard Bernadotte, the cutlery Pyramid of Harald Nielsen and the fruit bowl by Verner Panton. The cooperation with international designers was intensified like Alfredo Häberli, Constantin Wortmann and IIse Crowford. In addition, the company focused only on the core markets of Denmark, Norway, USA and Japan and the emerging market of China. Through this business decision, the famous Danish brand almost completely disappeared from Germany. As the continuation of many wrong decisions, the company came increasingly into financial difficulties until it was finally sold in 2012 to the Bahraini investment firm Investcorp. The company acted on several occasions successfully in the luxury segment. Under the new leadership it has reinvested in the distribution also in Germany. Furthermore great emphasis is placed on the alignment again for strengthening and quality of the collection of the company.