Maple Leaf Vase - Art by Royal Copenhagen
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Royal Copenhagen
Maple Leaf Vase

ca. 1905

About

Established in 1775, Royal Copenhagen grew to become one of the major producers of Danish porcelain. 1895 marked the beginning of an important new chapter in the firm’s history. Expanding beyond the traditional collection of porcelain figurines and dinner services, a modern experimental stoneware studio was born. Royal Copenhagen’s Art Nouveau porcelain distinguished itself from many other ceramic trends of the day by showcasing the artistic skills of their painters and emphasizing that mode of surface decoration rather than the glazes. The vase’s beauty is one of restrained elegance. Its hourglass figure is supple. The double-handled silver mounts gracefully arc down the sides to join maple leaves at the mouth and foot. These leaves are faithful renderings from nature and complement the vase’s overall theme. On first glance, the painted scene appears to be simply a mountainous forest setting, a study in tranquility and serenity depicted in gradations of grey. The silver mounts add another layer of grey and another spatial dimension. Further consideration reveals an artful commentary on Timelessness and The Transitory states of being. The vase’s two distinct zones clarify this metaphor. At the top, blue abstract drips contrast against the stark white ground suggesting the stratosphere and even recalling ceramic origins from Asia, Delftware and certainly the first Royal Copenhagen pattern which used the intense blue on white. Metaphorically, this higher plane stands for the higher laws of nature and Art embodied by the notion of the ideal or the absolute. Mid-ground, the bird in flight and the round moon symbolize the transitory. Time, change and movement are themes which reveal themselves as the viewer’s orientation changes. The bird’s fixed point in space appears to change as does the phase of the moon. The misty atmosphere in this earthly scene is a prime example of European artists absorbing some of the Japanese aesthetic and interpreting it stylistically as Japonism to create a Modern art for their era, Art Nouveau.

Details

  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    The double gourd-shaped porcelain vase is encased in a silver gilt mount, numbered “3918” in black ink verso.
  • Dimensions
    H 18.75 in. x W 9 in.H 47.63 cm x W 22.86 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number
    LU46731639403
  • More Editions & Sizes
    The double gourd-shaped porcelain vase is encased in a silver gilt mount, numbered “3918” in black ink verso.
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About Royal Copenhagen (Artist)

Producers of the finest in Danish porcelain, Royal Copenhagen is a company steeped in tradition. Its celebrated blue-and-white china patterns as well as its famed hallmark depicting the royal crown and three waves—symbolizing the monarch who founded the company and the three major waterways of Denmark—are emblems of master craftsmanship.


     Royal Copenhagen was founded in 1775 by Queen Juliane Marie. Years earlier, after the death of her husband, King Frederick V, Juliane’s stepson ascended the throne. Shortly into his reign, he went insane, and the Queen became the head of Denmark and its small empire. She sought to improve Denmark’s economy and founded factories around the country to promote domestic growth and international trade. Royal Copenhagen was one of the first of these. Royal Copenhagen first made dinnerware and vases with blue-and-white motifs inspired by Chinese porcelain, then the rage in aristocratic Europe. Many of these designs are still made today.


     Apart from its classic patterns, Royal Copenhagen has adapted to the changing styles of time and appeals to many different tastes. Their prolific body of work includes Rococo-style porcelain statues that incorporate stylistic floral patterns in an Art Nouveau style, as well as modern vases by such noted 20th century Danish ceramists as Axel Salto. Whether used for special occasions or displayed as part of a design collection, Royal Copenhagen pieces represent a legacy of the highest quality.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Chicago, IL
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