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Georg Jensen Through The Years

Georg Jensen is well-known from all around the world with many models and actresses such as Olivia Wilde, Kate Bosworth and even the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark have been seen wear this iconic brand.

Georg Jensen named the brand after himself, created a very successful jewellery brand with more than a hundred years of history. Showing great attention to detail and craftsmanship into every jewellery piece made, there is no question to of why it became so popular around the world.

Georg Jenson
Source: www.georgjensen.com

August 31st 1866 Georg Arthur Jensen was born in Raadvaad, a small town north of Copenhagen, Denmark. Georg inherited his creative skills from his father whose profession was a knife grinder in the town Georg was born.

Here is a little look at Georg’s earlier stages in life before making it as a successful silversmith and designer:

1880

Jenson first began his training as a goldsmith at the age of just 14, his training took place in Copenhagen.

1884

A few years later Jensen was free to pursue his artistic dreams in sculpting as he finished his goldsmithing apprenticeship with the company Guldsmed Andersen.

1892

Jensen found the perfect course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts doing his lifelong passion for sculpting.

When Jensen graduated he then started exhibiting his work, although his clay work was well received by everyone, it proved difficult making a living out of sculpting fine art and it didn’t help turning down the applied arts.

1898

Jensen became a modeller at the Bing & Grondahl porcelain factory and later for a small pottery workshop which he founded with business partner Christian Petersen. Although he still received high praise for his work, he couldn’t make enough sales to support his two very young sons and his widowed self.

1901

Jensen later abandoned his pottery business as it was too much work with very little outcome as he was hugely struggling to support himself and two sons. So Jensen began working with an artist master Mogens Ballin as a silversmith and designer.

1904

3 years after working with Ballin, Jensen made a huge landmark decision which risked all his current capital in creating his own silversmith business located in a small studio in Bredgade, Copenhagen.

This is where the brand Georg Jensen was born, this is where all his years of training and work was put to the test and where he was able to finally master his profession in carefully crafting very fine art deco jewellery.

1920

His work became extremely popular as people greatly appreciated the time and effort put into his jewellery.

The success of the brand escalated rapidly around Europe, opening stores in Berlin, Stockholm, Paris and London.

1924

Following from the success of opening stores across Europe, the brand continued growing and the first US store opened in New York.

1935

The Georg Jensen brand had become well established and was a global success, well known around the world as high end art deco jewellery, Jensen continued his legacy all the way up to when he died in October 2nd 1935.

Work and ideas

Jensen’s first products crafted from his workshop were jewellery including bracelets, brooches, buckles, buttons, chains, hair clips, hair combs, hat pins, necklaces, pendants, rings and stick pins. It was found that back between 1908 and 1912 the most popular item was the silver crafted brooches, most of the jewellery made was typically worn by Danish women at the time.

Jensen was an extraordinary craftsman using silver, with such work effort, time and appreciation going into everything he crafted. After travelling to Italy Jensen saw the antique grape motifs found on Roman silver bowls, and he instantly fell in love with the design, this inspired him to craft his own versions of the antiques, the grape designs featured on all his jewellery.

The design that was on Jensen’s brooches, have ever since featured the same flowers, leaves and berries that were on the very first brooch crafted, even as of today the brooches have the iconic designs.

Designs found in the Jensen archives revealed a sketch of the Georg Jensen Jardiniere, which was an extremely lovely looking design and later realised that it was never actually put into production. The sketch revealed the design to all be made from sterling steel and also featured the iconic grapes with stems and the base covered in the leaves.

In 2012 the sketches of the Jardiniere were put into practice by 5 craftsmen and women at the Georg Jensen silver smithy in Copenhagen, Denmark. The project had over 900 hours of work put into it and the designers stayed faithful to the original drawings, every berry and stem in exactly the same position as in the sketch.

Take a look at the Georg Jensen collection here.