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Bing & Grondahl
Frederik Vilhelm Grondahl , the brothers Meyer Herman Bing and Jacob Herman Bing founded Bing & Grondahl on April 19th 1853 . In sales this factory had many advantages, since Bing & Son (the bookstore owned by the Bing-family) had representatives travelling all over the country. They now brought along the B&G products.
In only nine years, Bing & Grondahl participated in the World Exhibition in London in 1862. A shop was opened at Amager Torv in 1885 - right next to the Royal Copenhagen factory. The shop was situated here for 100 years, after which it was closed when B&G merged with Royal Copenhagen. Blue fluted porcelain was painted from 1886. Royal Copenhagen had a monopoly on the "Blue Fluted" name, and consequently B&G had to come up with another name, "Bluepainted".
Pietro Krohn was the artistic leader of B&G from 1885 to 1892. During The Northern Exhibition in 1888, B&G exhibited a new service with scales, very popular ever since and the base of many service-decorations today. At the same exhibition, the "Heron" service was launched. The service set was produced exclusively in underglaze with gold, a foretaste of the new "Art Noveau" style. The service was simply made to show off the peak of B&G's artistic and technical abilities. As with Royal Copenhagen's Flora Danica, The Heron service is considered the masterpiece of Bing & Groendahl. Fanny Garde's the "Seagull" service was introduced in 1892. Harald Bing, son of Jacob Herman Bing came up with the world's first Christmas plate("Christmas Eve" ) which was produced at B&G in 1895. The plate was designed by F. A. Hallin. Cautiously B&G started out with a very small production of this very first plate. When it showed to be a big sales success, plate-productions were started throughout the world including at Royal Copenhagen. Thus this first plate set the fashion of the global interest in collectibles. It became a world-wide craze, and all the manufacturers in the world as well as organisations produced or had plates produced for any occasion. No other manufacturer has produced as many plates as Bing & Groendahl. Successor of Pietro Krohn was J. F. Willumsen , engaged as artistic leader in 1897 to 1900. Also J. P. Dahl Jensen was engaged in 1897. He was the modelling master from 1897 to 1917 - modelling several figurines on behalf \of B&G. J. F. Willumsen was hired to secure a success at the Paris World Exhibition 1900. This exhibition gave Bing & Groendahl exactly the international break-throught they had hoped for.
A few years following J. F. Willumsen's resignation, the factory worked without an artistic leader, but curiously those are the years when the B&G financial foundation was created. The Dahl Jensen underglaze figurines of birds, animals and people, as well as the Seagull, the Butterfly, the Empire and the Blue Painted service sets were the basis of the Bing & Grondahl financial success. "The Empire"-service was launched in 1904. It was designed by Harriet Bing - wife of the general manager at B&G. The wellknown Knud Kyhn created his first stoneware-figurine - a duck - on behalf of B&G in 1913. His production of stoneware-figurines at B&G was vast. Probably his small or big, darkbrown stoneware figurines of, for example bears, are the most renowned.
The wild and original unglazed porcelain figurines by Gaugain's hand were among the news in B&G's exhibition at the Paris World Exhibition 1925. Also displaying the sculptural Kai Nielsen figurines in white porcelain as well as the Axel Salto's soft porcelain and stoneware. The exhibition granted B&G big artistic and financial success as well as international attention. Further a result of the exhibition was the co-operation with the craftsman Ebbe Sadolin . Ebbe Sadolin designed a number of service sets for B&G. For example the "Loevfald" and the"Demeter", painted in decorations from Ove Larsen. His service "The Milkyway" was introduced in 1942. It was decorated with brown lines with a golden rim, and thesurface was sprinkled with small goldstars. The famous "Bodil" statuette, awarded to outstanding Danish film-persons each year, was also created by Ebbe Sadolin.
”The Christmas Rose” service was presented in 1936, designed by Cecilie Louise Hallin and her husband F. A. Hallin (the designer of the world's first Christmas plate "Christmas Eve".)
In the figurative language of the postwar years, it was said in the 1920s that in the mutual relationship between Bing & Groendahl and The Royal Porcelain Factory, RC delivered to the madams in fur, while B&G delivered to the university graduates in fleecy coats. The primary customers of RC were still the Royal family and the upper middle class, while B&G sold to the culture radical élite. B&G merged with The Royal Porcelain Factory in 1987, and subsequently their mutual name became Royal Copenhagen. When the two factories became Royal Copenhagen, Bing & Grondahl had the biggest earnings of the two. For instance B&G was Royal purveyor to his Majesty the King of Sweden. Yet the Bing & Grondahl name disappeared almost immediately. Today the illustrious name only lives on in plates and other collectibles being released every year, around Christmas time especially.All other products originally manufactured by B&G and still in production, are now stamped with the Royal Copenhagen hallmark. The factory has, among others, in Denmark and USA been known to produce porcelain and figurines in a quality just as good as Royal Copenhagen's. The knowledge of B&G is limited in most countries, as Danish porcelain is synonymous with Royal Copenhagen to most people. Since Royal Copenhagen is the name under which The Royal Porcelain Factory has always been marketed internationally, it is no wonder that many foreigners have never heard about B&G. Additionally both factories have, since the merger, been marketed under the Royal name. The Japanese especially, who are also royalists, did not purchase Danish porcelain untill the late 90s, and exclusively only buy Royal Copenhagen.