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by Amanda Applebyinfo@amandaappleby.com

Georg Jensen: A master of the craft

Welcome to the next blog in our ''Designer'' series - thoughts and facts about some of my favourite jewellers and brands, past and present!

The Georg Jensen brand is a beacon of artistry and craftsmanship in the illustrious world of jewels and gems. The Danish silversmith first made his imprint in the arts and crafts idiom of the early twentieth century, and he went on to become one of the most prominent international silverware designers. Today, the brand is synonymous with a prestigious group of artists who live and work to uphold this reputable legacy.

Jensen's work focused on creating pieces that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and he started his company, Georg Jensen, in Copenhagn in 1904. He believed in employing talented designers and artists, and he himself won the Grand Prix at the Paris World Fair in 1925, and went on to win it again in his lifetime. Artistically, the years between 1908 - 1918 were the most successful for him, and the majority of the pieces which made him famous were created during this time. Before the end of the 1920's, Jensen had opened retail outlets as far ranging as New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Berlin.

Since the opening of the first store, the silverware pieces have been hallmarked. Early hallmarks typically showed the letters ''GJ'' or ''GI'' in a beaded oval or circle. During the early 1930's, the more refined pinprick mark was introduced, and this was engraved into the silver rather than punched with metal. From the mid-1930's to 1940's, a square and easy identifiable ''GJ'' mark was used, which, subsequently in the 1950's, was replaced by the so-called ''Post 1945'' or ''Pearlmark'', with the brand name encircled by dots.

Back of a brooch

Jensen passed away in 1927, but by then he had instilled the values of artistry in design and excellence in craftsmanship within his company, and these values were strictly adhered to throughout the 20th century. Although his personal style was based on the Art Nouveau principles of the time, he allowed his employees to work creatively, and therefore the style and influences of the brand have always translated into the fashions and trends over time. He encouraged his designers to work freely, and believed in crediting them for their work. The company's employees strive to transmit their tools and techniques to the next generation.

Jensen passed away in 1935 at the age of 69. Today, many designs of Georg Jensen and his early associates are still produced, side by side with the work of younger, more modern designers.

View products in the following categories:

Art Nouveau | Silver | Danish

View blogs with the following tags:

Art Nouveau | Designers | Famous | Hallmarks | Silver
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