Today I was able to squeeze in a little shopping before the Design Leadership Conference begins in earnest. I was in porcelain heaven strolling through the luminous items in the Royal Copenhagen flagship store
.A feast fit for a king…
The Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactory, popularly known as Royal Copenhagen, has produced porcelain dinnerware, serving pieces and collectible objet since 1775. Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, the first pieces manufactured by Royal Copenhagen were dinnerware sets for the Danish royal family.
Royal Copenhagen’s flagship store and museum.
In the 17th century, Europeans were fascinated by the blue and white porcelain pieces being exported from the orient. Frantz Heinrich Müller, a chemist under the patronage of Queen Juliane Marie, founded the firm with the goal of manufacturing “white gold,” the white glaze found so beguiling about porcelain.
Blue Fluted Full Lace by Royal Copenhagen
In 1790, Crown Prince Frederik ordered a dinner set as a gift for Russian Empress Catherine II. The set was to feature exact copies of art work in a botany atlas entitled Flora Danica, originally conceived by a professor at the Botanic Gardens in Copenhagen.
To this day, one of the most sought after porcelain sets in the world, the original set of Flora Danica was the life’s work for its creator, Johann Christoph Bayer. Over 1,800 pieces were hand-molded and hand-painted over the course of 12 years.
After the completion of the first set in 1802 (which sadly never made it to Catherine the Great, as she died before it could be delivered) it would be another 60 years before the production of a second set for Princess Alexandra of Denmark, on her marriage to the Prince of Wales, later king Edward VII. Queen Alexandra's Flora Danica service is now kept at Windsor Castle as part of Queen Elizabeth II's collection.
The banquet room at Windsor Palace.
In 1851 Royal Copenhagen displayed their wares at the World Expo in London. In 1889 they were featured again at the World Expo in Paris, there receiving the Grand Prix award, resulting in international exposure.
Since its creation in 1802 the Flora Danica line has expanded to feature
The original set of Flora Danica, of which 1,500 pieces still survive, is considered a national treasure of Denmark and is occasionally brushed off and used for state dinners by the Danish royal Family.
Tomorrow, maybe a little something about George Jensen silver...