Georg Jensen was a silversmith, sculptor, and designer active in the 19th and 20th centuries, known for his association with the Danish Art Noveau movement.
Georg Jensen was born in 1866 in Raadvad, a town near Copenhagen, Denmark. He was a knife grinder’s son and began training in the Copenhagen goldsmithing trade at 14. Jensen became a journeyman when he turned 18, but soon after left the journeyman trade to pursue an art education at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
After his graduation in 1892, Jensen began exhibiting his ceramic work, and worked as a modeler for the Bing & Grondahl factory, a porcelain manufacturer. Jensen founded a small pottery workshop in 1898 with his partner, Christian Peterson; their shop received critical success but little financial gain.
Jensen began silversmithing in earnest in 1901, training with the master silversmith Mogens Ballin. Jensen set up his own silversmithy in Copenhagen in 1904, which would expand to major international locations within five years. Jensen’s success in silversmithing was largely due to his interdisciplinary methods and the combination of Art Noveau influences. In 1910, he won the gold medal for his silver pieces at the International Exhibition in Brussels and two years later, he would expand the Copenhagen silversmithy.
The financial and political upheavals of World War I led to the investment of Thorolf Møller and Peder Anders Pedersen in to Jensen’s firm. Møller and Pedersen’s capital funding helped the company expand to New York in 1924, when the company began to exhibit its silverware in hotels around the world.
Georg Jensen’s death in 1935 did not slow down the success of the company; nor did Pedersen’s in 1937. Pedersen’s son, Anders Hostrup-Pedersen, guided the company as managing director from 1937 to 1970, building a solid international reputation for the company and incorporating new and innovative styles of silverware. Hostrup-Pedersen encouraged experimentation and had acclaimed artists work in the firm’s silversmith workshop, including Henning Koppel, Sigvard Bernadotte, Nanna DItzel, and Soren Georg Jensen, the son of the late founder and a designer in his own right.
Hostrup-Pedersen marketed his company’s products at Danish craft exhibitions at home and abroad, including a Parisian exhibition at the Louvre, a 1960 New York exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a 1962 art exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The company was sold to the Royal Copenhagen group in 1972 in a merger that created the Royal Scandinavia Group. The silverware producer again changed hands in 2001 as Axcel Capital Partners took over the Royal Scandinavia Group, and later in 2012 with Investcorp’s 2012 purchase of Georg Jensen A/S from Axcel Capital. The company continues to exist today as a celebrated silverware brand.
Georg Jensen’s Works
Jensen is mostly known for his silver pieces, as is the company that shares his name. He has been celebrated as an Art Noveau designer for his combination of smithing and fine art techniques. His silverware pieces are marked by their colored gems and ornamental styles.
Georg Jensen A/S pieces still use highly ornamental patterns with flora and fauna, oxidized grooves, and hammer marks on the silver pieces’ surfaces. The company is most well known for its flatware, decorative arts, tableware sets, and jewelry items.
Georg Jensen Market Value
The market for the Georg Jensen A/S company pieces is strong, and its silverware sells for high prices. The demand for the company’s individual silver pieces or silverware sets can go up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Currently, the international and national art markets prefer Modernist works by the company, produced in the post-war era by artists in the silversmithy’s various workshops. The next most in-demand objects are Georg Jensen’s own original silver pieces and sculptures. Within the last few years, Jensen’s market value has grown considerably.
A Jensen original silver piece can go up to $14,000 at auction. However, the prices of his silver works will depend on their design’s complexity, quality, and size.
Sell and Appraise Georg Jensen Silverware
If you have any works by Georg Jensen or the Georg Jensen A/S company, get in touch with our experts at Revere Auctions. If you would like to sell your Jensen silverware or metalwork, you can auction them at our location in St. Paul, Minnesota. We also offer our services online.
You can contact us anytime for a free auction estimate if you want to sell Jensen’s work. We have a very simple process. After you send us the photos of the work, our experts will take a look, analyze, and provide you an estimate of the amount the artwork is likely to reach at auction.
If you need an appraisal for Jensen’s work, we provide a certified appraisal report that can be used for estate taxes, donations, and insurance coverage. Our appraisals are compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and are accepted by insurance companies, charity agencies, and the IRS.