The Ultimate Guide to Danish Silver Jewellery Designers

 

Interested in Danish silver jewellery? Check out our
illustrated guide to the top jewellery designers from Denmark

 

1) ANTON MICHELSEN

 Anton Michelsen was born in 1809 in Vopenhagen, Denmark. His family had been metal smiths for
generations. He undertook a goldsmiths apprenticeship in 1939 before moving to Copenhagen 
where he continued his training at J B Dalhoff's workshop. He was also a student at the Royal Danish
Academy of Fine Arts. In 1836 he travelled abroad and worked at some of the foremost gold smithies
in Paris, France and Germany. He returned to Denmark in 1841, where he established his own workshop
Copenhagen. His work soon attracted the attention of the Royal family and he was given the title of
Royal Court Jeweller.

After his death in 1877 his son Carl Michelsen continued with the firm. He collaborated with various
artists including Hans Tegner, Arnold Krog, Harald Scott-Moller and Martin Nyrop. In 1914 his son 

Poul Ulrich Michelsen joined the firm. He continued to manage the company after his father died in
1921. He collaborated with artists such as  Olaf Stæhr-Nielsen, Ib Lunding, 
Svend Hammershøi,
Palle Suensonand Arne Bang. F
or several generations, he was the top firm of gold and
silversmiths, with a great influence on Scandinavian silver jewellery design throughout the 19th and
early 20th century.

Anton Michelsen Getrude Rougie Silver Brooch  Anton Michelsen modernist silver necklace  anton michelsen curled leaf silver brooch

L to R: Anton Michelsen  - Getrude Rougie leaf brooch, 1950's modernist silver necklace, and
curled leaf brooch

2) VOLMER BAHNER  

Volmer Bahner (1912-1995) was a multi-disciplined designer and artist from Denmark. He studied at the
Industrial Arts and Crafts College  receiving several awards and scholarships.  After graduating in 1930
he became know for his scupltural works. He created various busts in bronze and ceramics . Many of
these were represented at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

Volmer Bahner was also reknowned for beautiful silver and enamel jewellery . He started a specialist
enamel jewelley company which was registered 
from 1962 to 1988. His innovative modernist and nature
inspired designs were created and manufactured in his own silver workshop .Bahner took inspiration
from the plants and flowers in the Danish countryside. He produced beautiful pieces including the cala lily.
This was made in several colour variations including a variety of blues, deep red, and white. The design
was used for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and brooches. He also produced  Art Deco style jewellery in
simple non figurative designs. Well known and easily recognisable Volmer Bahner pieces are his heart
and animal motifs including fish and butterflies. These were made in in different arrangements. His
jewellery signature is his initials VB, generally accompanied by STERLING DENMARK.

Volmer Bahner blue enamel silver parure  Vomer Bahner white enamel necklace braceket brooch  Volmer bahner sterling silver figural brooch
L to R: Volmer Bahner blue enamel parure, white enamel parure, and sterling silver figural brooch


3) HANS HANSEN

Hans Hansen (1884-1940) started his own silver smithy in the Jutland town of  Kolding, Denmark
around 1906. By the 1920's Hansen was making his own line of products.  Initially the firm produced
flatware. After this was successful they started making jewellery.  In 1931 the jewellery was designed
by Hansen himself, however, jewellery production really began in 1932  when Hansen's son Karl Gustav
Hansen became the main designer and the company established a reputation for superb modernist
design.  Karl Gustav designed a collection called "FUTURE". This comprised  about 50 pieces,
including rings, brooches, earrings, etc. Other designers  such as Bent Knudsen and Bent Gabrielsen
Pedersen also worked for the company. In the 1980's Allan Scharf was the lead designer. In 1991 the
firm was taken over by Royal Copenhagen. For more on Hans Hansen click here.


Hans Hansen amethyst silver bangle 1960's  Hans Hansen 1970's silver peak necklace  Hans Hansen rare vintage modernist silver ring
1960's Hans Hansen 1960's        1970's Hans Hansen silver peaks  Hans Hansen vintage modernist
amethyst silver bangle                 necklace                                          ring

 

4) HENNING KOPEL

Henning Kopel (1918-1981) trained as a sculptor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1936 to 37.
He spent the war years  in Sweden where he designed some jewellery. After returning to Denmark in 
1945 he joined the Jensen workshop where he was employed as a designer even though he had not
worked with silver jewellery. He produced beautiful original modernist jewellery concepts from 1945-47.
His brooches displayed free form amoeba like shapes , while glowing blue or brown enamel gave energy
to the pieces. His bracelet designs incorporated a beautiful blend of form and movement.
Jensen jewellery
 
stamped with the Henning Koppel signature generally fetches the highest prices at auction. Koppel's inlaid
designs were quickly adopted by  1950's costume jewellery designers in Denmark in the production of free
form brooches. These were made using cheaper materials such as Bakelite with pewter or exotic woods
with chrome plated metal or silver.

Henning Koppel silver Amoeba brooch  Koppel for Jensen silver modernist necklace  Henning Koppel sterling silver modernist necklace
Henning Koppel silver amoeba    Koppel for Jensen modernist       Henning Koppel sterling silver
brooch                                           silver necklace                            modernist necklace

 

5) NE FROM

NE FROM was born in 1908 in Denmark and trained as a silversmith. His silversmithy was founded in
1931 as a small workshop for jewellery repairs. A wholesale production company was established in
the late 1940's  joining in with the prosperous and lucrative  period of Scandinavian design. NE FROM 
generally exported 50% of production to Western Europe, the United States, and Japan. There are two 
distinct styles in the NE From jewellery production. In the early years  floral and foliage pieces were
designed by NE From.  In the 1960's bold modernist style pieces were introduced by another designer.
Different signatures were used by the company. Small pieces may be marked "FROM".  Some have
"NE FROM, STERLING, DENMARK, 925S" in a square. Others may have the NE FROM signature in
an italic style. These days NE FROM jewellery availability is limited and therefore prices for collectors
have risen accordingly. He is know as one of the greats of modernist Danish jewellery design. For
more on NE FROM click here.

NE FROM silver floral brooch 
 Ne From amber silver bracelet   NE From baltic amber daisy necklace

NE From silver floral modernist    NE From amber and  silver disc    NE From baltic amber daisy necklace
brooch                                           modernist bracelet

6) HUGO GRUN

Hugo Grun was a very respected silversmith from Copenhagen, Denmark. He was part
of the Scandinavian Art and Crafts "Skonvirke" movement. He started his workshop in 1918
and it continued until 1985. Grun himself was active from 1918 to 1937. His workshop production
 encompassed many styles from "skonvirke" (Danish Art Nouveau style) , through Art Deco,
1940's floral styles to post World War 2 modernism.

Hugo Grun 830 silver roe deer bracelet  Hugo Grun 1946 silver birds pendant  Hugo Grun silver butterflies neckace mid twentieth century
Hugo Grun 830 silver roe deer      Hugo Grun 1946 silver birds       Hugo Grun silver butterflies
bracelet                                          pendant                                      necklace 1950's

 

7) GEORG JENSEN

Georg Jensen has been the leading name  in 20th century Danish silver jewellery design and the
Jensen firm has dominated silver and holloware markets both in Denmark and worldwide. Jensen
(1866-1935) was an apprentice goldsmith in Copenhagen at 14 , followed by several years in
technical school .However, he put all this training to one side for 12 years while he studied ceramics
and sculpture. In 1904 he decided to sculpt in silver. He opened his own workshop  and successfully
exhibited jewellery in both Germany and Copenhagen. He was soon exporting to Paris and London.
His international profile rose after he won the gold medal at the Brussels Expo in 1910. Jensen
was an astute businessman. He hired very skilled designers and craftsman who added their individual
interpretations to the "skonvirke" style. Jensen's treatment of silver in high relief was warm and tactile. 
The jewellery designs featured coral, amber, garnet, lapis or carnelian stones as contrasting elements
which nestled or burst from silver leaves in sensual swirls. Jensen and other designers in the firm who
followed  after his death continually renewed the company .Their innovative designs and fresh ideas
have kept the company at the forefront of Danish design. Jewellery comprises only 25 % of the firm's
output.They also produce holloware and flatware.

Georg Jensen /Malinowski Large Silver Floral Pendnant  Georg Jensen Kneeling Deer and Squirrel Brooch  Georg Jensen designed by Regitze Overgaard silver necklace
 Georg Jensen large silver floral    Georg Jensen sitting deer and      Georg Jensen designed by Regitze
 pendant by Malinowski                  squirrel brooch by Malinowski       Overgaard silver necklace

 

8) BERNARD HERTZ

Bernard Hertz was a highly respected Danish goldsmith. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1834, he
completed his studies as a goldsmith in 1858. His graduation design piece was an arm ring. This was
bought by Frederick VII who gave it to Countess Danner. The ring can be seen on display in the Danish
Design Museum. With the money from this sale Hertz set up his own business. He specialised in modern
style jewellery with flower motifs, as well as replicas of ancient jewellery. In order to reach a wider customer
base he began producing jewellery in silver instead of gold and introduced machine power into his production
in 1887. Jewellery production covered all the major style eras, however, the firm's most prominent period 
was around the early 20th century. They were  leaders in the "Skonvirke" style (Danish Art Nouveau). Brooches
in this style are much prized by collectors, commanding high prices.

Bernard Hertz silver locket 1950's   Bernard Hertz fly link bracelet   Bernard Hertz 14 carat gold bracelet
Bernard Hertz 1950's silver         Bernard Hertz silver fly link              Bernard Hertz 14 carat gold

locket                                            bracelet                                           bracelet


9) OLE LYNGGAARD

Ole Lynggaard, Copengagen is a well known luxury Danish jewellery brand. It is a family business that
was started in 1963 in Hellerup, Denmark by fine jewellery designer and goldsmith Ole Lynggaard.
Lynggaard studied in several places including France, Germany, Japan, San Francisco and New York.
His daughter Charlotte Lynggaard (also a designer and goldsmith) joined the company in 1987. His son
Soren Lynggaard joined the company in 1994 and since 2003 has been CEO . They have a well
established  and solid reputation as a value conscious luxury brand. 


Ole Lynggaard bracelet  Ole lyngaard ring  Ole lyngaardd chrysoprase gold bracelet

Ole Lynggaard gold bracelet     Ole Lynggaard pearl chrysoprase ring   Ole Lyngaard gold bracelet

10) JACOB HULL

Jacob Hull was an artist and sculptor who became famous in the early 1970's when his work was
exhibited internationally. He was well travelled living in several places including Finland. He  eventually
made his home in Jutland, Denmark. He made original one off pieces of solid sterling silver jewellery at
his studio which sold for very high prices. The other side of his production was to create silver and gold
plated pieces for Buch + Deichmann, which bore their stamp. This jewellery was sold at the high end
Danish department store Illums Bolgius. 
All the  jewellery was hand made made at Hull's workshop ,
although he did employ an assistant to help make some of the more popular Buch + Deichman pieces.
Hull was very particular about retaining intellectual property rights to his jewellery as his work was
popular and often copied.  Everything that left his workshop had to have one of his stamps. These were
Jacob Hull in script or initials, J.HULL, or Jacob.  His designs were original and modern often using large
upolished rough gemstones on hammered metal  for cuffs or chokers. He also used glass and metal in
his designs. Hull died in 1993 after a fire at his house in Denmark.

Jacob Hull amethyst silver large pendant    Jacob Hull modernist amethyst and silver cuff  Jacob Hull silver crater statement necklace
Jacob Hull rough amethyst silver   Jacob Hull amethyst and silver     Jacob Hull silver crater
large pendant                                 cuff                                                statement necklace

 

11) S CHRISTIAN FOGH

Danish silversmith S Christian Fogh had a workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark,  which was in operation
from 1947-1973. He was known for his lovely quality jewellery items  and also for his  flatware.

S Christian fogh leves and berries bracelet   S Christian Fogh modernist silver leaf pin   S Christian Fogh silver grapes brooch

S Christian Fogh leaves and        S Christian Fogh modernist silver   S Christian Fogh silver grapes
berries bracelet                            leaf pin.                                             brooch

12) AARRE AND KROGH

Aarre and Krogh were Danish silversmiths situated in the market town of Randers in Jutland, Denmark.
Their workshop produced jewellery from 1949 to 1990. They became well know for their distinctive
modernist jewellery  which featured stylised flowers and foliage. The high quality nature of their work
is the reason that there jewellery remains popular today with  fine silver jewellery collectors.

Aarre and Krogh silver broohc    aarre and krogh silver filigree bow broocg
Aarre and Krogh modernist         Aarre and Krogh silver bracelet      Aare and Krogh silver filigree bow
silver brooch                                                                                       brooch       

 

13) BENT GABRIELSEN PEDERSEN

Bent Gabrielsen Pedersen was a student at the Danish College of Jewellery and Silversmithing which
formed all the major artists in Denmark from its beginnings in 1952. He designed smooth silver
boomerang style earrings and bracelets. He then  designed "atomic jewellery" with enamel for the
Hans Hansen firm in the Fifties, taking over the jewellery design department from Karl Gustav Hansen 
in 1953. His own variation of the circle form of the late Fifties was a necklace of connected links. It was 
hung with a pendant in the style of Thor's Hammer. One of his well known pieces was the "sycamore
seed pod" necklace he designed for Georg Jensen. He was the winner of the Gold Medal at the Triennale
in Milan. After this in 1962 he created a bracelet which was a cuff  of silver interlaced "fingers" for Hans
Hansen. For more on Bent Gabrielsen click here

Bent Gabrielsen Necklace for Hans Hansen
     Gold neck collar Bent Gabrielsen

Bent Gabrielsen Necklace for       Bent Gabrielsen modernist            Gold neck collar, Bent Gabrielsen
Hans Hansen                                silver bracelet for Georg Jensen

14) HARALD NEILSEN

Harald Nielsen  was born in 1892. At first his interests lay with painting.  However as the younger
brother of Georg Jensen's third wife, Johanne, he soon became involved with the Jensen silver smithy.
He began working in 1909 as a chaser's apprentice before working his way up to become  designer 
at the Jensen smithy school of apprentices. In 1954, he became director of the smithy  before becoming
artistic director in 1958 . He held this  position until 1962. He was one of the first to design mass
produced silver brooches and belt buckles to be sold at reasonable prices. He broke out from the
traditionalist naturalist themes to create Deco or "Funkis" pieces to compete with imported costume
jewellery. He was a close colleague of Georg Jensen and  his style was comparable to that of Johan Rhode.
Both favoured form and line over ornamentation. He became the technical interpreter of Rhode and
Jensen's designs . He turned their early design sketches into precise drawings. These were used by
the silversmiths to create the jewellery. After Jensen's death in 1935 Neilsen worked to ensure that the
high quality output of the firm continued. He hired skilled designers and silversmiths training them in line
with the standards of the Jensen silvers mithy. His most famous recruit was Henning Koppel. He ensured
 the smooth transition from the first generation of Jensen designers ( himself, Jensen, and Rhode), to
the new generation of designers. Neilsen himself designed many pieces of holloware and jewellery.
He also designed the "Pyramid" flatware collection.

Harald Neilsen silver leaves bracelet for Georg Jensen  Moonlight grapes necklace by Harald Neilsen  Harald Neilsen floral leaf earrings
Harald Neilsen silver leaves        Harals Neilsen moonlight grapes  Harald Neilsen floral leaf earrings
bracelet for Georg Jensen           necklace for Georg Jensen            for Georg Jensen

 

15) FRANTZ HINGELBERG

Having trained as a goldsmith Frantz Hingelberg was 26 when he founded his workshop in Arhus in
1897. He
 had been able to secure a much sought after location at the  Lion Pharmacy building on
Main Square 5 in Aarhus. His earliest customers were churches for whom he designed a variety of
fine quality silver pieces. In 1919 he succumbed to Spanish flu which had spread through Europe
to Arhus . His wife then took control of the company until 1924, when it was taken over by his son
William Hingelburg. 

 
In the late 1920's he hired silversmith Svend Weihrauch as artistic director. Weihrauch had previously
designed for Jensen and brought the craftsmanship and style he had learned there to Arhus. The
Hingelberg company became a successful business under Weihrauch's leadership. In the 1930's
 his quirky floral brooches and rings displayed the Jensen influence. In the forties he produced bright
enamelled brooch designs in a more simplified organic form. S
vend Weihrauch was a very prolific
designer. During his twenty-eight years  at Frantz Hingelberg's, he produced approximately 4,500
designs for jewellery, holloware, and cutlery. Most of these went into production. 
The " F.H."
signature was a sign of quality on all of Weihrauch's designs. In 1987 the firm was taken over by
Andkjaer and Aaquis, however in 2014 after 117 years  the shop finally  closed its doors.

Hingelberg gold bangle 9 carat gold   Franz Hingelberg sterling silver cufflinks   14 carat gold Frantz Hingelberg bracelet
Hingelberg 9 carat gold bangle    Hingelberg sterling silver cufflinks   14 carat gold Hingelberg bracelet

 

16) BENT KNUDSEN

Bent Knudsen joined the Hans Hansen company in 1946, where he developed his own distinctive style.
In 1956 he opened his own workshop in Kolding with his wife Anni. They shared the same design ethos .
They created minimalist jewellery pieces with simple amethyst, hematite, or malachite accents. The
production was very wearable and elegant. In 1969 he produced a bracelet stacked with square rings.
There was also a matching ring. This modernist design broke free from the deceptively simple style
of the Fifties. He used the signature "Bent K" to identify work by himself and his wife.

Bent Knudsen silver shark bracelet   Bent Knudsen silver pendant  Bent Knudsen silver necklace
Bent Knudsen silver shark bracelet   Bent Knudsen silver modernist   Bent Knudsen silver necklace
                                                           pendant.


17) KAREN STRAND

Danish craftswoman made a major contribution to Danish design in the 1950's. Karen Strand
(born in 1924) was one of these women. She was one of the first to take advantage of the classes
at the College of Jewellery and Silversmithing in Denmark. In 1953 she won the first prize in the
Jeweller's Competition . After this  she joined the A Dragsted workshop in Copenhagen where
she eventually became its director. A popular design was a 1956 parure based on the lyre, followed
by a more elaborate necklace design of two rows of silver petals. She also designed brooches
for Anton Michelsen such as the 1953 - 55 sterling silver persian palm motif brooch.

Persian palm brooch by Karen Strand for Anton Michelsen   Karen Strand 18 carat gold black agate leaf necklace   Karen Strand silver inlerlinking bracelet for A Dragsted
Karen Strand for Anton Michelsen  Karen Strand 18 crt gold black    Karen Strand silver interlinking
iconic silver persian palm brooch     agate leaf necklace  1960's        bracelet for A Dragsted

 

18) NANNA AND JORGEN DITZEL

Nanna (1923 - ) and Jorgen Ditzel  (1921-1961) studied at the School of Arts, Crafts, and Design in
Denmark. They were a married couple who also enjoyed a fruitful working relationship. Although both
were trained as furniture designers, they found the transition to jewellery making quite easy. Beginning
with  beautiful red striped enamel brooch for Anton Michelsen in 1953, they continued with a series of 
important pieces for Georg Jensen in the 1950's and 60's. They inspired future generations of silver
jewellery designers. Famous pieces were their 1956 necklace which comprised a waterfall of silver
petals. All the smooth lines of their bracelets, pins, and earrings were very carefully crafted.  Nanna Ditzel
continued her clear design ethos in London where she lived and worked from 1970 onwards.

Ditzel for Georg Jensen silver brooch  Nanna and Jorgen Ditzel silver necklace  Nanna Ditzel 1970s ring
 1956 Ditzel brooch for Georg     Nanna and Jorgen Ditzel necklace   Nanna Ditzel 1970's silver ring
Jensen


19) EVALD NIELSEN

Evald Nielsen (1897-1958) worked as an apprentice goldsmith in Copenhagen in 1893. Ten years later
he travelled abroad in France and Germany, taking in continental styles and techniques. When he returned
to his wife and child in 1905 he decided to work hard for other firms until he was then able to establish his own
workshop. He used lapis or chrysoprase cabochons in sumptuous settings similar to the Jensen style. His
brooch depicting a bee sucking honey won a Grand Prize at the Paris Expo . In 1944 his "Mood" collection
featuring jolly silver stick figures playing sports or musical instruments reflected the countries  relief at the
retreat of the Germans.

Evald Neilson 1930's 14 carat gold brooch with moonstones  Evald neilsen skonvirke style silver brooch   Evald nEILSEN silver good mood dancer brooch
Evald Neilsen 1930's 14 carat      Evald Neilsen brooch , skonvirke  Evald Neilsen silver "good mood"
 gold necklace with moonstones   style (Danish Art Nouveau)           dancer brooch


20) ERIK MAGNUSSEN 

Erik Magnussen was a self taught silversmith. He briefly studied in Berlin in 1907,  however he was
too independent minded to be taken on by a workshop. He created amazing naturalistic silver gilt
and porcelain brooches of insects from 1905 to 1915. He then decided to  try his luck in America
and was hired by Gorham Silver Co as artistic director. where he worked until the crash of 1929.
He opened a shop in New York which failed, however an impulse to adorn movie stars proved a
fruitful venture in 1930's Los Angeles. He returned to Denmark in 1939 where he made jewellery
with a nationalistic theme. His work was signed with the "EM" monogram and ERIK MAGNUSSEN.

Erik Magnussen beetle pendat skonvirke style  Erik Magnussen sterling silver an enamel flying birds brooch    Erik Magnussen stylised butterfly gemstone pendant
Erik Magnussen beetle pendant   Erik Magnussen sterling silver       Erik Magnussen opal and sapphire
skonvirke style                               and enamel flying birds brooch     stylised butterfly gold pendant


  







 
 


 


 

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