Georg Jensen Silver
Georg Jensen Silver is a Danish manufacturer of fine silverware.
Brief History and description
Georg Jensen is a name that has long been associated with high quality silver pieces. Jensen was a highly acclaimed silver craftsman during his time and even today, his works are still very much admired and prized.
Georg Arthur Jensen was born in Raadvad, Denmark on August 31, 1866. His family was not rich and at an early age Jensen was forced to seek employment. His first job was a help boy in a foundry. When he was 14 years old, Jensen and his family moved to Copenhagen. Soon after their arrival in the city, Jensen became a goldsmith apprentice at Guldsmed Andersen.
Jensen later on studied to become a sculptor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 1825 at the age of 25. He however found little success in his original field, which prompted him to shift to silver and gold molding.
After years of learning the silver trade and working with known silversmiths in Copenhagen, he finally opened his own shop in the spring of 1904. Possibly one of the most iconic pieces he made was the Acorn, which was created with the help of artist Johan Rode. The Pyramid, Bernadotte, Cactus, and Caravelle are other famous hollowware and flatware created by Jensen.
In order to pursue his artistic interests, Jensen left for Paris in 1925 but due to financial difficulties he returned home the following year. Soon after his return to Copenhagen, Jensen took the role of Artistic Director of Silversmithy, a company that he also had a stake in.
Except for a few artistic achievements, the last ten years of Jensen’s life was unremarkable and even disappointing to some extent. He was never an active figure in Silversmithy and was not able to contribute much. In 1935, Georg Jensen passed away at the age of 65.
Guide for collectors
In order to distinguish genuine ones from fakes, it’s highly recommended for novice or inexperienced Georg Jensen collectors to gain knowledge and do thorough research. The following are useful tips when collecting Georg Jensen pieces:
- Raised stamps. When eyeing flatware, check the silver stamp of letters “G” and “J” and be sure that the lettering is raised. This stamp technique dates back to the early 1900’s.
- Pinpricks. If a flatware mark was stamped with what seems to be small holes (pinpricks) and the name is surrounded by a pinprick oval circle, then you can be sure it is an original.
- Sterling Silver Markings. A technique used to date an antique piece is by checking its marking through a magnifying glass. If the marking is 925, then it means it is sterling silver.
Georg Jensen pieces are very popular and are in high demand all over the world. Particular pieces made between the years 1904 to 1914 such as Art Nouveau buckles, brooches, earrings are the most sought after of all Jensen wares. Many online shops and auctions are known to offer original Jensen pieces. The largest dealer however is Silver Fun which has sold about $40 million worth of Georg Jensen silver since 1996.
There are clubs like The Georg Jensen Society, dedicated to celebrating the works of Georg and spreading word about the highly talented silversmith to the public.
Notable Auction Sales
A Georg Jensen soup tureen, with cover and stand was bought for $151,000 in Sotheby’s New York in March 28, 2008. A 1919 Georg Jensen silver fish platter was sold for AU$129,750 in Sotheby’s Sydney in August 25, 2004. This particular piece had a dome-shaped cover and a central fish motif.
Stefek's Auctioneers & Appraisers of Michigan, USA sold a rare Georg Jensen sterling silver fish platter for $120,000 in April 28, 2011. This platter had a dent on the rim of its mazarine.