AAGAARD, Jens Johannes (JAa)
Contemporary Danish silversmith, established in 1946 in the town of Svendborg and developed an extensive range of quality products which are found in all jewellery stores in Denmark. The company purchased N.E.From in the 1990s, and with it one of their young designers, Lasse Lærke, who became chief designer for Aagaard. One of his most successful creations was “Connections”, with its click and turn clasp mechanism. The company also developed the 'Lovelinks' brand of beaded jewellery, sold worldwide
Aarre & Krogh (A&K)
Danish mid-twentieth century silversmiths, based in Randers, a market town in Jutland, Denmark. The workshop was in operation from 1949 to 1990.
Aarre & Krogh became known for their highly distinctive style of jewellery, the most popular of which featured stylised foliage and flowers, often leaves with catkins.
The craftsmanship and quality of the A & K jewellery is second to none, and their work continues to be popular today amongst collectors of fine silver jewellery.
ANDERSEN, Just , (Just A)
Just Andersen started making jewellery In his own workshop in 1918, having received a kickstart from Mogens Ballin with a 3 year project to decorate an altar in Copenhagen. He produced beautiful figural sculptures in gold as pieces of jewellery, but they were of course very expensive, and so he also started working in silver and pewter and "Disko", an alloy which he discovered himself. His pewter hollowware from that period commands very high prices today.
At the end of the 1920s, Just Andersen started to move from individual ‘unica' pieces to a more streamlined production method, collaborating with a Swedish goldsmith and introducing pieces inspired by the simple forms of Nordic pre-historic jewellery. (Source: Jacob Thage, Danish Jewellery, 1990)
Just Andersen died in 1943, but his workshop continued under the management of his widow and Ellen Schlanbusch (1902-2005) who worked for the company for a total of 50 years, and who became artistic director. Karen Strand, Arje Griegst and Jane Wiberg were all apprentices in the post-war period. The company closed in 1973. (Source:Vibeke Marssoe)
BAHNER, Volmer (VB)
Volmer Bahner was Denmark's best known specialist enamel company, and was registered from 1962 to 1988.
The designs are innovative, especially in the beautiful guilloche enamel floral pieces such as the cala lily, which was made in several colours including a number of blues, white and deep red. This design was used for brooches, earrings, bracelets and even necklaces. But Bahner also produced simple, non-figurative designs in the Art Deco style.
Above all, the most instantly identifiable Volmer Bahner designs are his hearts and animal motifs, including fish and butterflies. These too were made in different configurations and for different body parts! Many were specifically designed as presents for young girls, and so the rings, bracelets and necklaces are often quite small in size. These can however be extended by any competent jeweller, as they have usually been assembled with simple jump rings.
Bahner's mark is his initials VB, accompanied by STERLING, DENMARK
His work is sometimes also linked to the company CHRISTGAU, and may bear this mark.
A.P.Berg was active from 1958 to 1983 in Assens on the island of Funen. I was unable to identify this maker for several years, as the jewellery (mostly cufflinks) is marked only with a figural logo. But a customer pointed out to me that Berg's popular candlesticks (of which I myself own a couple) are marked both with the same logo and the name Berg. Mystery solved. Berg also made a number of popular flatware series.
BISGAARD , Palle (P.Bis)
Acclaimed and highly sought after Danish modernist silversmith, who opened his workshop in Kirke Hyllinge, a hamlet outside Roskilde in the 1950s. He still lives there.
BRØDRENE BJERRING (Brdr.Bj)
The Bjerring Brothers ran their workshop in Copenhagen from 1962 to 1988. Their production was characterised by an attention to detail, affordability without compromising quality, and a wide variety of innovative modernist designs. Many of these designs incorporated semi-precious stones, both in pendants, brooches and rings.
BRØDRENE BJORKLUND (Brdr.B)
Pieces by this company are highly prized, not only for the innovative designs, but also because it only existed for 10 years, from 1961 to 1971
BLUITGEN, Ib (IB)
Ib Bluitgen, born 1921, trained as a silversmith at the Georg Jensen Silversmithy and also studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Sculpture from 1945 to 1948. He worked in the Georg Jensen design department from 1948 to 1962, becoming head of that department in 1950. Bluitgen opened his own studio in 1961 and was one of the founders of the Danish Crafts Council . Bluitgen's work has been exhibited throughout Europe and North America and was part of a recent exhibition "Dansk Solv 2000" at the Kolding Museum in Kolding, Denmark. Bluitgen received awards at the Milan Triennale in 1954 and the Statens Kunstfornd prize in 1976. In 2007 he was awarded the coveted Karl Gustav Hansen Prize.
C. BRUMBERG HANSEN (CBH)
C. Brumberg Hansen, whose workshop in Copenhagen was registered from 1937 to 1987
CARL M COHR (CmC)
World famous silver company founded in 1860 in the town of Fredericia on the Jutland peninsula of Denmark. In the first half of the twentieth century the company was best known for cutlery (flatware) and hollowware, and to a lesser extent, jewellery. It was so large that it had several hundred employees, and provided apprenticeships for many famous silversmiths, for instance Hans Hansen and much later, Bent Knudsen.
The company was registered in Fredericia until 1987.
Dennung's workshop in Copenhagen was first registered in 1974, and the shop on Frederiksberg didn’t close until 2016, run by his son Steen after Erik’s death at the age of 82 in 2007. Dennung’s career combined his jewellery production with stardom as a footballer and later as a trainer. Much of Dennung's work is bold, in the so-called Brutalist style, and requires a lot of material, so he tended to use silver plate over base metal
EILER & MARLØE (E&M)
Renowned silversmiths active during the first half of the 20th Century, registered 1920 to 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Used one (or both) of two name stamps and also numbered their designs, many of which are art deco or functionalist in style.
ALGOT CHR. ENEVOLDSEN (ALE)
Algot Chr. Enevoldsen, first registered in Copenhagen in 1950, and produced high quality modernist jewellery. Per Enevoldsen (the son?) developed the Pandora bead concept, which is now one of the biggest jewellery brands in the world.
EINER FEHRN (EF)
High quality Danish silversmith working in Copenhagen, established 1933. Fehrn specialised in the production of amber jewellery. He also started the retail outlets ' House of Amber', now widely represented internationally, especially in China. Amber is found in several regions of the world, but the most prized source is the Baltic region and west coast of Denmark.
In 1953 Eggert was inspired to create moulds from the herbs and flowers of his garden and turn these into enchanting pieces of jewellery by layering the silver base with 18 ct gold. The company is still going strong, and now produces its designs in both gold and silver.
workshop in Copenhagen was registered from 1947 to 1973.
NIELS ERIK FROM, DENMARK
Niels Erik From was born in Denmark in 1908 and trained as a silversmith. He opened a shop in 1931 from which he also sold some of his designs, but the N.E.From smithy is first registered in Nakskov in 1944. His son-in-law Hilmer Jensen joined the management team in 1960, and took over the firm in 1986 after Niels Erik's death. The company was wound up a few years later.
There are two distinct styles in the From production. The sinewy foliage and floral pieces were designed by Niels Erik From and characterise the early years of production, whereas the bold modernist pieces were introduced by another designer in the 1960s.
There are also a number of signatures used by the company. Smaller pieces may simply be marked FROM. Others have N.E.FROM, STERLING, DENMARK, 925S in a square, and finally, many pieces bear the N.E.From signature in an italic script. From's production was extensive, and his work was exported worldwide in the 1960s and 70s. Availability is now increasingly limited and prices correspondingly rising as collectors warm to these modern classics.
Niels Erik From has now joined the 'greats' of modernist Danish Design.
CARL OVE FRYDENSBERG (COF)
Designer and maker of high quality silver jewellery, registered in Copenhagen from1949 to 1982. He is also listed in Fred Rezazadeh's book Collectible Silver Jewelry.
qualified as a goldsmith in 1949 after serving his apprenticeship with the goldsmith Ejler Fangel in Copenhagen. He had planned to be a carpenter like his grandfather but since apprenticeships were scarce, the only available position was as a goldsmith's apprentice. Gabrielsen was among the first group of students at the Goldsmith's Academy from where he graduated with top grades in 1953. He was immediately hired by the Hans Hansen Solvsmedie and worked there until 1969. By the time he left he was responsible for the firm's entire production. After leaving the Hans Hansen company, Gabrielsen set up his own workshop called "Gabrielsen's Guldsmedie". He kept his business small with he and his wife the only employees. A large part of his production was sold in Japan . Bent Gabrielsen won the Lunning Prize in 1964. As Erik Bohr, Chairman of the Lunning Committee wrote, " Bent Gabrielsen's jewelry carries absolute conviction as to its function; his handling of materials is so restrained and well considered that one feels this could hardly be otherwise. His jewelry is simple and clearly constructed, often with links connecting naturally with each other so that the complete piece makes up a beautiful whole. Every single detail of his things is worked out. There are no false effects. He does not take the easy way out."
For items by Bent Gabrielsen, see under Hans Hansen
The acronym GIFA stands for Guldsmedenes Indkøbsforening, was founded in 1959 as a commissioning, purchasing and marketing consortium to ensure quality goods for its members, now comprising 45 individual retailers.
Hugo Grün (H.Gr)
Hugo Grün was a highly respected Copenhagen silversmith , whose workshop existed from 1918 to 1985. The designs thus span from late Art Nouveau, called 'skønvirke' in Danish, through Art Deco, functionalism, 1940s floral and post second world war modernism.
Jens Tage Hansen (JTH)
Jens Tage Hansen established his silversmithy in Copenhagen 1954 when he met the artist Aage Gitz-Johansen, who had spent many years observing and painting life in Greenland. Tage Hansen initiated a collaboration with Gitz-Johansen to adopt his Greenland themes and transform them into jewellery. The first was a polar bear in 1954, the most famous was an Inuit girl in 1960. These Greenland motifs made Tage Hansen quite famous, and the range is still being produced today. Tage Hansen also produced more mainstream silver jewellery, as well as tourist souvenirs.
Hans Hansen (1884-1940) started his own silversmithy in the 1920s in the Jutland town of Kolding with the mechanised production of silver flatware. The company's range of products and reputation for superb modernist design was however established by his son, Karl Gustav Hansen, who was apprenticed in his father's workshop in 1932, and consolidated by Bent Gabrielsen, artistic director from 1953 to 1969. (Please see separate biography). Karl Gustav Hansen was born in 1914 and followed in his father's footsteps to become a silvesmith. Even before he produced his apprenticeship test piece in 1934 he had created a series of designs in a simpler, functionalist style which he called 'Future'. He went on to study at the School of Sculpture in the Academy of Art and undertake a 3 months study trip to Italy. In 1940 Hans Hansen died, and the now 25 year old Karl Gustav took over the family firm, designing jewellery and increasingly flatware and hollowware. He designed practically no jewellery during the peiod 1953 -69 when Bent Gabrielsen was employed by the company, but resumed thereafter, and remained active until his death in 2002
A number of other well-known Danish modernist silversmiths started their careers at the Hans Hansen company and their designs were clearly influenced by the studio. These include Bent Knudsen, Eigil Jensen (who went on to work for Anton Michelsen) and Allan Scharff (born 1945), who progressed to Georg Jensen. One of Scharff's most famous designs, sold as 'Alliance' by Georg Jensen, was actually designed during his time with Hans Hansen. There are no individual signatures on any of the pieces, but it is possible to identify the designer once you are familiar with their work. All items bear one of the generic Hans Hansen logos, either HaH, or H within an H, or Hans Hansen signature in script, . You cannot date the pieces by the mark used. In general however, and quite logically, larger pieces will bear the script signature, smaller ones the initials.
The company was taken over by the Royal Scandinavia Group in 1991 and thus incorporated into Georg Jensen. Several Hans Hansen designs are still being produced by Georg Jensen.
One of the most prominent and respected silversmiths in Copenhagen, the company was established in 1858, i.e. nearly 50 years before Georg Jensen, and was registered until 2007 when they were taken over by Lund of Copenhagen. They designed and produced silver jewellery in all major stylistic eras, but their 'heyday' was probably the early 20th century, when they were leaders in the field of 'Skønvirke' (Danish art nouveau), and brooches in these designs are much sought after by collectors, commanding prices equal to Georg Jensen.
Copenhagen silversmith Axel Holm, whose company was registered from 1908 to 1988. He seem to have specialised in cufflinks - I have never seen any other types of jewellery by this maker.
This artist became famous in the early 1970s, when his work was exhibited internationally and was on sale in Illums Bolighus, the flagship retail outlet for Danish Design. He was a rolling stone, living around the country and also overseas (eg Finland). He was also a sculptor of some note, whose work was accepted at the annual Charlottenburg exhibition. Eventually he settled down on the peninsula of Djursland in Jutland, Denmark, and it was there he died in 1993, a victim of a fire at his house. He was saved from the blaze, but returned to rescue a vintage car, and did not emerge again.
Hull's jewellery can be divided into two categories. There are original one-off pieces which he created in solid silver, and which command very high prices, running into thousands of pounds, and secondly, there are the silver-plated pieces, many of which were created
for Buch + Deichmann, and which thus also bear their stamp. Everything was hand-made at Hull's own workshop, but to meet the demand for some of the more popular B + D pieces, he employed an assistant to produce these.
Hull was very fussy about retaining his intellectual property rights, as his work was much copied. He insisted that everything leaving his workshop bore one of his stamps, J.HULL or Jacob, or Jacob Hull in script or etched initials, and it is thus likely that any unstamped piece was made without his knowledge or approval.
Subject of several large and weighty reference books, Georg Jensen is probably the most famous silversmith company in the world, so I will not attempt to provide a history in this space.
In 2004 the company celebrated its centenary, continuing to develop and innovate. Most of the early pieces , designed during the first two decades of the 20th century, were designed by Georg Jensen. But many other designers were attached to the workshop and some of these have produced iconic 'Jensen' pieces. They include Harald Nielsen, Henry Pilstrup, Arno Malinowski, Henning Koppel, Nanna Ditzel and many more. Once you know the designer's style, it is easy to recognise their pieces, even though they do not bear the designer name, only the Georg Jensen number and company stamp. Older catalogues and the many publications on Georg Jensen do however include the designers' names.
There are three Danish makers listed who used the initials H.J and were all called Hans Jensen & Co (the frequency of this name equates to John Smith in English). Even though the first was based in Copenhagen and the second two in Aarhus, their periods are consecutive, and this leads me to believe that this is one family, working from 1899 to 1937 in Copenhagen, and subsequently in Aarhus until 1970.
A master of modernist design, Arne Johansen was born in 1927, qualified as a silversmith in 1951 and started his workshop in Roskilde in 1954. His whole family became involved in the production and sale until 1993. His work is characterised by the pure simplicity of line, elegant design, the substantial weight of the silver, and the expertise of the craftsmanship.
Knudsen, Bent & Anni (Bent K)
Bent Knudsen (1924-1997) trained at Carl Cohr in Fredericia and then worked for the Hans Hansen smithy until 1956 when he started his own workshop with his wife Anni (1927-). Their creations, always marked Bent K, and clearly inspired by Bent's time at Hans Hansen, exhibited the understated, clear and simple lines that are the hallmark of Danish Modern. Their work does not appear frequently on the market, and is much sought after.
Whilst the workshop existed until a few years ago, production of silver items was gradually phased out during the 1970s, when another of their passions, the paper cut, became their major concern and this has enjoyed worldwide acclaim and sales ever since.
Willy Kromar (W.kr)
Established his workshop in a suburb of Copenhagen in 1943
Lauritzen, John (John L)
John Laurtizen designed and produced wonderful silver jewellery in Copenhagen between 1955 and 1981.
B.Margossian, who was registered in Copenhagen from 1973 to 1982
Ole Lynggaard. (Ole L)
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen was established in 1963 in a small workshop in Hellerup (an upmarket suburb in the north of Copenhagen). The firm has evolved to become the definitive Danish luxury jewellery brand and purveyor to the Royal Danish Court. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it is still a family business with Lynggaard's daughter Charlotte assisting her father as designer and goldsmith. His son is the managing director, and his son-in-law is the commercial director. See more here.
Meka or Meka Reklamegaver, registered in Holte, north of Copenhagen, from1951 to 1989. Production included enamelware (spoons etc) as well as jewellery with designs in enamel similar to Volmer Bahner and David-Andersen.
Anton Michelsen (AM)
The Anton Michelsen Silversmithy was founded in 1841, and had thus long celebrated its centenary when it was bought up by the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory in 1968. As Royal Copenhagen then went on to purchase Georg Jensen as well, Michelsen was gradually merged with Jensen, and today only the annual forks and spoons bear the Michelsen name.
1. Georg Jensen was apprenticed to Anton Michelsen in the 1890s, not the other way around! Several of the most popular late 20th century Jensen pieces were actually designed for Michelsen.
2. In the 1850s Michelsen was commissioned to redesign the Royal medals and has been making these by appointment ever since. Hence the expertise in enamelwork which led to
3. the most popular jewellery design of the twentieth century , the Marguerite Daisy, created in 1940 to celebrate the birth of Princess (later Queen) Margrethe.
4. After its takeover by Royal Copenhagen in 1968, silver designers were encouraged to work with ceramicists, which resulted in some very interesting and sought-after creations.
5. At least since 1950 Anton Michelsen acknowledged its designers by stamping their signatures on each piece.
Designers of the mid and late 20th century include:
Karen Strand, Gertrud Engel, Eigil Jensen, Nanna & Jørgen Ditzel, Knud V Andersen and Jens Windfeld Hansen.
6. Michelsen set up a subsidiary in Sweden during the WWII and for some time after. MIC was the maker's mark used for items produced in Sweden, and this mark is often seen on Gertrud Engel designs of the 1950s, although they were also made in Denmark. In Sweden they also cooperated with the Swedish company Borgila.
Source: Antik & Auktion 4/99
Mikkelsen, Andreas (A.MIK)
Andreas Mikkelsen (born 1928) joined the Georg Jensen silver smithy in 1955 - - initially as a member of the firm's management. He was to become head of sales, head of production and product development and even rose to the post of managing director.
All the while he was nurturing his artistic talents and collaborated with the silversmith Ove Wendt between 1970 and 1978 as well as independently. In the late 1980s he started designing Jewellery and other products for the Georg Jensen company. These items cover everything from golf tees to Christmas decorations. Many of his jewellery designs were also incorporated into the Georg Jensen repertoire whilst he seems to have retained the copyright for them, which may seem unusual, but if you are the managing director, you can always make exceptions.
Confused? Not surprising - but this is my explanation for why you find those gems of fantastically sleek modernist jewellery by Mikkelsen with different combinations of signatures. They may appear with either A.Mik or MIKKELSEN on its own. They may appear with a combination of A.MIK and O.WENDT. Finally they may appear with the Georg Jensen logo, with no designer mark. In these cases however, expect to pay at least twice the price, just for the more famous logo.
Museums Kopi Smykker (KOPI)
Authentic replicas of jewelry of the past, mainly from the Scandinavian countries, but also some that originate from the Baltic Region, Great Britain, Germany and Holland.
The finds all date back to the Bronze Age (1500-400 BC) Iron Age (400 BC-800 AD) and Viking Age (800-1050 AD)
The jewelry is recreated in Bronze, Sterling Silver, 8 and 14 carat gold by skilled goldsmiths at Vissenbjerg near Odense. The jewellery is cast and hand-crafted to an appearance as were the jewellery just to leave that ancient workshop, from where it originated. Each piece of jewellery is accompanies by a specification giving details of age and finding place etc.
All the viking jewellery is made from master moulds, which are either exact impressions of original found jewellery or reconstructions of jewellery remains and fragments of jewellery. All the Viking Jewellery is made in close cooperation with both national and international museums.
Brother of Jensen’s third wife Johanne, Nielsen joined the firm in 1909, aged 17. He helped to establish the Jensen style and the firm’s tradition for outstanding quality. In the 1920s he designed jewellery, flatware and hollowware, many still in production. He introduced the stricter,more streamlined forms of Art Deco in the 1920s. After Georg Jensen’s death in 1935, Nielsen became the artistic leader of the company. For items by Harald Nielsen, see under Georg Jensen
Hans Henrik Nygaard (HHN)
Established workshop in Viby, a suburb of aarhus, Denmark, in 1984. More recently established the 'Spinning' brand.
Ole Bent Petersen. 1938+ 98. Ute Mirbach has written an excellent, illustrated biography of this designer, For items by Ole Bent, see under Georg Jensen.
Henry Pilstrup (1890 – 1967)
joined the Georg Jensen company in the year of its inauguration in1904 and worked there until 1957. He was Georg Jensen’s first apprentice and produced many designs in silver and gold for the company whilst he was foreman of the jewellery workshop. His first major design for a necklace (no.4) was purchased by the Art and Industry Museum in Copenhagen in1909 and awarded the prize for the most beautiful piece of the year. His simple rectangular, bar-shaped cufflinks no. 64, designed in the functionalist style in 1937, remained in production until recently and have been copied by many other designers. This style has been extremely popular since the 1940s and 1950s and you will find several examples on this site.
For items by Henry Pilstrup, please see under Georg Jensen
Started in the early 1985 in Aarhus, Denmark, this producer of very high quality jewellery rose very quickly to prominence due to its innovative designs.
Products are identified by a 'nike' -like logo, and/or initials NO, RA or the full name RAUFF, It survived until 2006. The founder, Pia Rauff, now makes bespoke jewellery, paints and sculpts and teaches from her studio south of Aarhus.
Silversmith based in the Aarhus suburb of Højbjerg since 1983
Herman SIERSBØL (HS)
opened his own silversmith workshop in April 1945. It was his mission to create affordable quality jewellery in modern designs. He had the right idea, for the initial kr 2,000 investment , which he had saved from his salary as an apprentice, gradually led to the development of one of the largest gold and silversmiths in Scandinavia. Today the company uses the most advanced production methods and equipment for casting and stamping jewellery pieces. Herman Siersbol died in a tragic accident in 1964 and the company was taken over by his 4 children. His son Henrik Siersbol is now the sole owner, and runs the company with his daughter Camilla.
Theodor Skat-Rørdam, (TSR) Copenhagen workshop was registered between 1958 and 1973.
Randers Sølvvarefabrik. (RS)
( Translation; Silverware factory of Randers, a medium-sized town on the peninsula of Jutland in Denmark). The company has existed since 1853. Still produces an extensive range of wedding rings as well as silver jewellery, handcrafted in Denmark. Senior designer is Troels Tvenstrup, who is the fifth generation of his family to work for the company
Now calls itself Randers Sølv
Chr. Veilskov (Chr.V)
Chr. Veilskov's workshop was registered in Copenhagen from1963 to 1986. He produced traditional jewellery as well as modern designs.
Renowned modernist who worked in the small town of Kirke Såby near Roskilde from 1963 to 1983. He is particularly well known for his technique of matt enamelling. He also produced modernist pieces in gold and pewter.
W&SS- Horsens Sølvvarefabrik.
Large and renowned Danish silversmith, whose initials W&SS stand for founders, Brødrene W & S Sørensen of Horsens, a market town on the east coast of Jutland. It was first registered in 1904, Sølvvarefabrik, (silver goods factory).Early items may be marked with the mongram HS, modernist items usually bear the initials W&SS. The company was sold to Cohr (see above) in 1984 which itself has since been incorporated into the Gense cutlery company.
The Finnish company Kalevala Koru is renowned for their interpretations of historic jewellery pieces discovered at archaeological sites. The company was founded in 1935
Founded in Turku in 1953 and still manufacturing jewellery, their middle market, stylish products have been widely exported to Europe and North America.
Founder and chief designer, Elis Kauppi.
Elis Kauppi; 1921-2004, born at Turku, Finland, has been one of the few pioneers in the Finnish modern jewellery. He started working with jewellery in 1936 and founded Kupittaan Kulta Oy with two friends after the war in 1945, leading the trend away from the popular mid-century floral patterns to the design of innovative and simpler modernist pieces.. Kupittaan Kulta Oy exported much of its production to Nordic and Central European countries, but also to USA and Japan. Modern Finnish jewellery art made its breakthrough in 1958, when four major modern jewellery designers: Bertel Gardberg, Elis Kauppi, Börje Rajalin and Eero Rislakki held an exhibition of their work at ARTEK in Helsinki. The jewellery of Kauppi has been exhibited in several international exhibitions and museums: Formes Scandinaves, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris 1958-1959; The Modern Jewellery Exhibition, Golssmiths´ Hall, London 1961; Pforzheim Jewellery Museum 1967 and 1970; International Art Exhibition in Shibya, Tokyo 1970, 1973 and 1976.
Most famous Finnish silversmith workshop, still producing pieces of outstanding quality and design. Chief mid 20th century designer was Björn Weckström. Born in 1935, he joined the company that was to become Lapponia in 1963, introducing a succession of groundbreaking and innovative collections in gold, silver and bronze. Most notable are the Space series, started in 1968, closely followed by the machine-age inspired Flame Bronze Series from 1969 onwards. There is a very good article with super photos by Vanessa Paterson here Other important designers include Poul Havgaard, from Denmark in 1974 and. the Hungarian silversmith Zoltan Popovits born 1940, who started working for Lapponia in 1975, Taken over by Kalevala in 2020.
(1945 – 2004) was the second child of Martti and Elma Piekäinen, who owned a watch and jewelry store in Helsinki called, Piekäinen Oy they established in 1939. He learned his skills in his father's workshop.
Pekka started his career with Kaunis Koru in the 1960’s. He later moved to Auran Kultaseppä Oy, the second oldest Finnish jewelry maker, from 1971 to 1989, Piekäinen was artistic director and head designer. In 1991, he founded his own business PlatinOro. It exists today as a silversmith company that makes reproductions of Piekäinen’s work.
Piekäinen’s pieces include rings, bracelets, earrings, silverware, and, most especially, bracelet watches. His unique pieces have clean, smooth, sleek, timeless geometrical shapes and lines. He is also known for the contributions he made to the watch designs of Tissot, Omega and Lanco. Piekäinen received the State Design Prize in 1979 and was recognized by the Finnish Goldsmith Association in 2002 as a Finnish pioneer for the first series of design watches made for mass production.
Pentti Sarpaneva (1925-1978), largely worked in bronze, with his dramatic pieces often enhanced with amethyst, rose and smoky quartz stones, all of which are found in Finland.Sarpaneva studied at the graphic arts department of the Institute of Industrial Art in Finland. The major influences on his designs were his childhood in the countryside with his father, who was a blacksmith. He was inspired to create jewellery named after the bark of trees, weathered and dead pines and Karelian embroidery. Both the embroidery and the bark motifs require wax moulding casts, producing highly decorative surfaces. Sarpaneva products were mainly exported to Sweden and Norway, but also to Denmark, USA, Japan and UK.
Matti Hyvarinen (Sirokoru)
Matti Hyvärinen, started his career as a trainee at his father’s workshop in 1953 but soon established his own studio at the age of 21, founding Sirokoru Ltd in 1958.
Matti Hyvärinen has exhibited in numerous jewellery shows in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Basel, Munich, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Stockholm, etc.
He has won numerous international awards for his bold, highly distinctive modern designs:
• Diamonds International Award 1967, New York
• RJA President’s Display Award 1977, New York
• Int. Pearl Design Contest, HM. 1983, Tokyo
• Gemmy Award, HM. 1987, Los Angeles
• Goldsmith of the Year 1987, Finland
• Int. Art Competition, Certificate of Excellence 1988, NY
• 15th Novum Calendar Competition Award 1990, München
• International Prix Arctica Competition III prize 1992, Kemi
• Finalist in the World Competition of Arts and Crafts 1999, Kanazawa
• Finalist in the International Craft Competition 2001, Itami
Sirokoru Ltd has become known for its own recognizable style and design and continues to develop.
Ref: Sirokoru Ltd
Finnfeelings/ Sten and Laine / Karl Laine
Established in the early 1960s by Hans Sten and Karl Laine. The company, based near Turku, is still thriving and producing both the original iconic designs of Karl Laine as well as those of more recent, contemporary designers,
Norway's leading silversmith, established in 1876. The company became world famous for its enamel jewellery in the first half of the 20th century and by the second half was exporting most of its production. Some of the most popular designs were butterflies and leaves. The leaves were designed by Willy Winnaess, and bear his signature.
In the 1950s David-Andersen took the initiative to foster young and innovative designers of modernist 'Scandinavian Design' silver jewellery, with or without enamel, and these much sought-after pieces all bear the initials of the designer, preceded by INV (inventor). These include Bjørn Sigurd Østern, Harry Søby, Marianne Berg, Unn Tangerud and Ben David-Andersen as well as Uni David Andersen, the fourth generation of D-As, who established her own workshop in 1959, but also continued to design for the family firm.
First registered in Oslo in 1955
After training with David-Andersen, Holmsen established his own workshop in 1904. His son Ivar joined the company in 1942 and took over the company in 1950. Prolific producer of traditional filigree as well as modernist enamelled jewellery and modernist plain silver. Closed in 1971.
Ivar T Holth
First registered in Oslo in 1943, this silversmithy was a prolific producer of guilloche enamel jewellery, with an extensive export business. Run by Per Holth from 1977 to 2007. Sometimes spelt Holt.
Apprenticed to J.Tostrup. Obtained license in 1941. Independent designer and manufacturer of high quality vermeil guilloche enamel jewellery from 1953, with considerable exports to the United States. Workshop continued after his death in 1976,
Bernard Meldahl, specialist in guilloche enamel jewellery, died in 1950. His workshop was taken over by H Myhre, and his designs may have been produced after that time.
Apprenticed to Marius Hammer. Licensed in 1920 when he established his workshop. Died 1951, but the company continued under the joint owner Odd Frisch, and even after the latter’s death in 1970. Closed 1987.
In the early 1950’s Hans Myhre expanded his business with the purchase of both the Hroar Prydz and Bernhard Meldahl jewelry businesses. His pieces sometimes display his Myhre anchor mark below the established Hroar Prydz mark. Ultimately, David Andersen bought both the Myhre & Prydz lines
Norway Plus Designs
Norway Plus Designs was started in 1958 in Frederikstad as an applied arts centre for the development of modern design in ceramics, glass and textiles as well as jewellery. The head of the silver workshop was Erling Christoffersen, who, together with his wife Anna Greta Eker, were the chief designers. A year later they were joined by the young Tone Vigeland, and it was these three who were the stars of the company, which produced innovative modern silver designs which won favour worldwide and which are still much in demand today. The silver workshop was closed down in the 1970s. Another member of the team was Odvar Pettersen, who was the production manager, but he also designed a couple of pieces. Most Plus Design pieces feature the signature of the designer as well as ND in a box and + in a box.
Established company in 1900, largely as an agency representing traditional Norwegian jewellery, In 1950 his son Per Scharning took over and started a separate workshop, growing the production of silver and enamel jewellery. Closed 1980.
Tone Vigeland (born 1938) trained at the Norwegian National College of Art and Design (NCAD), and was apprenticed to PLUS Designs (Fredrikstad, Norway) from 1959 – 61, when she set up her own workshop. She continued to design for Plus, and the company continued to market all her innovative and successful series throughout the 1960s. Much of this was exported.
Vigeland’s most famous earrings from this period are called ‘Sling’, they sit around the ear without the help of posts, hooks, screws or clips. In the 60s, Tone Vigeland was very obviously working in the Scandinavian Design tradition. Some of her early works bear witness of a strong influence from the Swedish artist Torun Bülow-Hübe who was working for the Georg Jensen Company in Denmark. Key terms are simple geometric forms, clean surfaces and solutions that are technically straightforward. Silver jewelry was made with stones such as Carnelian, Jade and Amethyst. Long chains and neck rings were made for pendants to be worn in everyday life. Throughout her career Tone Vigeland has been represented in numerous exhibitions and galleries. Amongst her earliest prestigious contributions were jewellery for the Norwegian exibition at the XII Triennale in Milan 1960, and Expo 67, the Montreal World's Fair in Canada. Tone Vigeland eventually had a major international break-through in 1981, exhibiting in the London gallery 'Electrum' . This was followed by exhibitions in New York, Tokyo and other major cities. Her career can be characterized by a capability of continuously renewing artistic creativity, by a dialogue among contrasting forms, textures and materials, creating a daring expression. In the 70s and 80s her emphasis moved in the direction of jewellery-making as fine art, and her work can be seen in Applied Arts Museums worldwide, including the renowned Jewellery Museum in Pforzheim, Germany.
Bengt Hallberg (BeH)
Renowned silversmith, established 1947, still producing major collections
Atelier Borgila was founded by Erik Fleming in Stockholm in 1921. His growing reputation led to commissions for the Swedish Royal family, which continue up to the present day. Purchases by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1933. In the 1940s and 50s Borgila cooperated with Anton Michelsen’s subsidiary in Sweden. The company continued under Erik’s son Lars until 2005, when it was purchased outright, the new buyer retaining the name and the back catalogue
Theresia Hvorslev, Lidköping, born 1935, is Sweden’s foremost and internationally acclaimed silversmith, with numerous prizes and exhibitions of jewellery, hollowware and flatware to her name. She trained as a silversmith in Sweden and Germany, then worked briefly for Georg Jensen, where she developed her love for the strictly sleek and simple lines of Scandinavian modern. In the 1960s she worked for the family metalware firm Mema, where she designed jewellery and cutlery used by SAS for over 30 years. She then moved to the leading Swedish silversmithy Alton, producing her iconic ‘winged’ and stylised floral designs. In 1975 she established her own studio ‘Silverknappen’ which is still in operation today, under the management of her eldest daughter Tabita. See hvorslevjewellery.com
Ola Gorie jewellery was founded in 1960 in Kirkwall on the island of Orkney in the North Atlantic. . Influences are the Scottish Celtic, Norse, Scottish Glasgow and contemporary. The brand is now one of Britain's leading jewellery companies, winning many prestigious awards, and Ola Gorie was herself recently awarded the MBE.
Founded by Malcolm Gray in the late 1960s, Ortak is one of 2 contemporary world-famous jewellery companies based on the island of Orkney off the north coast of Scotland. Ortak specialises in silver jewellery, with ranges based on Glasgow Mackintosh style, Norse and ancient Scottish and Pictish Christian motifs as well as contemporary designs.