Royal Copenhagen

Royal Copenhagen
Royal Copenhagen
Type Porcelain Manufacturer
Founded 1 May 1775
Headquarters Denmark, Copenhagen
Parent Axcel
Website Royal Copenhagen

Royal Copenhagen, officially the Royal Porcelain Factory (Danish: Den Kongelige Porcelainsfabrik) is a manufacturer of porcelain products and was founded in Copenhagen 1 May 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie. It is recognized by its factory mark, the three wavy lines above each other, symbolizing Denmark’s three straits: Oresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt.[1]


Early years

Royal Porcelain manufactory in Copenhagen (19th century)

Starting in the 17th century, Europeans were fascinated by the blue and white and white porcelain exported from China during the Ming and Qing dynasties,[2] but Danes had to discover for themselves how to produce the "white gold" (white glaze) that they found so irresistible about porcelain.

The Royal Copenhagen manufactory operations began in a converted post office in 1775. It was founded by a chemist, Frantz Heinrich Müller, who was given a 50-year monopoly to create porcelain. The first pieces manufactured were dining services for the royal family.[3] When, in 1779, King Christian VII assumed financial responsibility, the manufactory was styled the Royal Porcelain Factory. In 1790, Royal Copenhagen brought out its now famous Flora Danica ‘Blue Fluted’ dinner service, with gilded edge and Danish flora motifs,[4] and Royal Copenhagen held a monopoly on the "Blue Fluted" name.[5]

By 1851, Royal Copenhagen qualified for the World Expo in London. In 1868, as a result of royal companies' privatization, the Royal Porcelain Factory came into private hands. It was purchased by the faience factory Aluminia in 1882. Shortly after Aluminia's acquisition, Royal Copenhagen production was moved to a modern factory building at Aluminia’s site in Frederiksberg, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. By 1889, Royal Copenhagen qualified for the World Expo in Paris, winning the Grand Prix, giving it international exposure.

Current company

In recent years, Royal Copenhagen acquired Georg Jensen in 1972, incorporated with Holmegaard Glass Factory in 1985, and finally Bing & Grøndahl in 1987. Today, Royal Copenhagen is a part of a group of Scandinavian companies, Royal Scandinavia, together with Georg Jensen, and is owned by the Danish private equity fund, Axcel. Following Axcel's acquisition of Royal Scandinavia, Holmegaard Glasværk was sold in a MBO and a controlling interest in the Swedish glass works Orrefors Kosta Boda was sold to New Wave Group. In April 2008 it was reported that Royal Copenhagen was moving nearly all of its production to Thailand.[6]

Patterns (original manufacturer in parentheses)

Seagull dinnerware, designed by Fanny Garde of Bing & Grøndahl in 1895
Royal Copenhagen porcelain

Most famous

  • Flora Danica, Blue Fluted (in Danish: Musselmalet), Blue Flower, Henriette, Saxon Flower, Fan, Gemina, and Gemma (Royal Copenhagen)
  • Empire, Offenbach, Butterfly, and Seagull (Bing & Grøndahl)
  • Tranquebar and Blue Line (Aluminia).


  • Black Mega, Palmette, White Plain, White Half Lace, White Full Lace, Blue Flower Curved and Plain, White Pot, Blue Line, the new Christmas service Star Fluted, and Ole.[7]


  • Gemina, Gemma, Jingle Bells, and Julian Marie (Royal Copenhagen)
  • Seagull (without gold trim), Blue Henning Koppel, White Henning Koppel, Tema, Mexico (Bing & Grøndahl)


  • Royal Copenhagen 2010 plaquettes: Numbered and named faience plates depicted a variety of scenes, holidays, years, and occasions. Most commonly round, they measured about 8 cm (3-1/4") in diameter, with a blue scene on white background.
  • Larger, approximately 7-1/4", blue on white faience plates, created annually for Mother's Day, the Olympics, and other commemorations. Some weren't annual issues, instead depicted scenes. In 1895, Royal Copenhagen began producing annual Christmas plates, still in production today [1]
  • Porcelein pipes, beginning in 1969 and manufactured for about 15 years.

Further reading

  • Bojesen, Benedicte, and Steen Nottelmann. Royal Copenhagen Art, Industry. Lyngby: Sophienholm, 1996. ISBN 8787883570
  • Christoffersen, Lars. Christmas Plates & Other Commemoratives from Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2004. ISBN 0764320890 Table of contents
  • Heritage, Robert J. Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Animals and Figurines. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 1997. ISBN 0764301012
  • Kongelige Porcelainsfabrik, Bredo L. Grandjean, Dyveke Helsted, and Merete Bodelsen. The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory 1775-1975. Copenhagen: The Manufactory, [eksp., Amagertorv 6], 1975. ISBN 8798034219
  • Pope, Caroline, and Nick Pope. A Collector's Guide to Royal Copenhagen Porcelain. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001. ISBN 076431386X
  • Wagner, Peter, Steen Nottelmann, Finn Andersen, and Paul Nesbitt. Flora Danica. Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 1994. ISBN 0952386909
  • Winstone, H. V. F. Royal Copenhagen. [London]: Stacey International, 1984. ISBN 0905743377


External links

Media related to Royal Copenhagen at Wikimedia Commons

See also

  • Porcelain manufacturing companies in Europe

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Royal Copenhagen — Фарфор «Royal Copenhagen» Royal Copenhagen Датская Королевская фарфоровая мануфактура. Основана 1 мая 1775 года под патронажем королевы …   Википедия

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  • Royal Copenhagen 2010 plaquettes — are a series of small, collectible plates produced by Danish factories, Aluminia and Royal Copenhagen. The numbered and named series of 3 1/4” (80 mm) [cite web |url= decor/h c andersen plaquettes/Hca Plaq The… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Copenhagen porcelain — ▪ ware       ware produced by the Royal Porcelain Factory, Copenhagen, from 1775 to the present day. The factory was founded by a chemist, Frantz Heinrich Müller, who was given a 50 year monopoly. Three wavy lines, one above the other, were… …   Universalium

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