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Royal Copenhagen

By appointment to the Royal Danish Court.

Photograph: Pexels

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies

Royal Copenhagen, originally called "The Royal Danish Porcelain Factory", was founded in 1775 as a limited company under the patronage of the Queen Dowager Juliane Marie, Crown Prince Frederik and King Christian VII.

The factory was established at St. Kjøbmagergade 50 (the name of the street at that time), and in accordance with the Queen's wishes, the factory adopted three wavy lines as its trademark, symbolising the Great Belt, the Little Belt and Øresund. The Blue Fluted dinnerware is the first pattern produced by the porcelain factory. Hence, the identification printed on the bottom of each piece is No. 1.

Powerful royal patronage

Queen Juliane Marie (the daughter of Duke Ferdinand Albert II of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel in Germany and the second wife of King Frederik V) was known as a modern queen and was a strong supporter of the country. It was the task of the reigning monarch to safeguard the country's economic well-being with the development of domestic products and services. Her greatest legacy was founding the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory in 1775.

As the widow of King Frederik V, Queen Juliane came to power in Denmark and Norway when her late husband's son from his first marriage became mentally ill and was unable to govern. She was a strong woman with a good grasp of the needs of the time.

She had a very extensive European contact network and understood that combining knowledge and using local raw materials would improve local living conditions. Like many other European monarchs, she supported research in natural science. They deduced that it was no longer theology but science that would improve life on earth, hence her interest in mineralogy and the raw materials for porcelain production.

"The brand is highly valued and respected continuously, and with untiring enthusiasm, sustaining the high standards of craftsmanship that give its products the very quality for which they are all so well known."

Porcelain production in Denmark

The production of porcelain was not entirely unknown to Queen Juliane Marie. Her brother, Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, had also founded a porcelain factory in Fürstenberg (south of Hannover). In addition, their sister was married to Frederik II of Prussia, one of Europe's powerful monarchs, who, in 1763, founded a porcelain factory in Berlin. Although the siblings corresponded, the secret for porcelain manufacturing was not shared between them and it was only in 1774 that porcelain was first produced in Copenhagen. Finally, Queen Juliane Marie and the Danish royal family had their own valuable porcelain production, just like other European monarchies.

Queen Juliane Marie was adamant from the start that each piece of Royal Copenhagen porcelain would be stamped with its unique factory mark: the three hand-painted waves that symbolise Denmark's waterways, the 'Øresund' or Sound, the Great Belt and the Little Belt. The Queen also introduced the royal crown stamp to highlight the factory's royal association. The crown has changed over time and can be used to date each piece of Royal Copenhagen.

In the 1700s, it was good diplomatic practice amongst royalty and aristocracy to give fine porcelain as gifts. Following the Danish defeat at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, Lord Nelson bought Royal Copenhagen porcelain for his beloved Lady Hamilton. The Danes lost the battle. But a love of Danish porcelain was victorious.

Globally respected brand

Today, Royal Copenhagen is a highly distinguished brand renowned for its exclusive quality porcelain products and its immaculate design. Royal Copenhagen is known worldwide for being Danish and for maintaining its classic blue and white porcelain, both made and painted entirely by hand. It is also known for the daring nature of its renewal and innovation.

Various new collections maintain their success in modern homes, and this porcelain is a desirable symbol of an up-to-date and quality-conscious lifestyle.

The brand is highly valued and respected continuously, and with untiring enthusiasm, sustaining the high standards of craftsmanship that give its products the very quality for which they are all so well known.

Royal Copenhagen operates in the US, the EU and Asia. It is now owned by Fiskars - a leading global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden and outdoors.

The group has a strong portfolio of respected international brands, including Fiskars and Iittala (both with their roots in Finland) and Gerber (roots in the US).

Founded in 1649 and listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Fiskars is Finland's oldest company, with recorded net sales of EUR 1,2 billion in 2016 and employs approximately 3,400 people in over 20 countries.

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