Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Traditions: Danish Porcelain and Red Candles

While this is the most Magical time of the year, every room seems to be occupied with half-empty totes and piles of holiday items. Hopefully the house will magically finish itself tomorrow.

Last week, I started in my china cabinet by cleaning my OLD Royal Copenhagen and Bing and Grondahl dinnerware and figurines, polishing candlesticks, and cleaning the sparkling glassware. I've inherited nearly everything shown from four maybe more generations of Danish ancestors. Danish tradition has red candles in every room...regardless of color scheme. Here I have added them to the cabinet in OLD porcelain and silver candlesticks.
 
oldnewgreenredo

REALLY everything in this post is OLD, some very OLD.

The main patterns are classic blue and white,  most of my pieces are Blue Flower Braided (a braided pattern impressed on the rims or the Blue Flowers with a ribbed rim. Some pieces go back to the early 19th century. It's hard to imagine such fine dining in the early 1800's with such beautiful dishes.

Royal Copenhagen has been Danish porcelain company since 1775. The early years were spent under the ownership of King Christian VII, hence the Royal name. Later the company went private.

In 1853 the RC company spawned  Bing and Grondahl when a RC artist, Frederik Vilhelm Gr√łndahl joined the merchant brothers Meyer Hermann Bing and Jacob Herman Bing and formed a new company. The original aim was to produce figurines and statuary by Thorvaldsen and later fine dinnerware.

After many successful years and competition the two companies merged again in 1987, but still producing porcelain figurines and dinnerware under the separate names.


oldnewgreenredo

The Royal Copenhagen white weasels were modelled by Jeanne Grut in the 1960's. My weasels, birds and polar bears will share a winter wonderland on our tv console once my Christmas fruitbasket upset is complete. The small blue mustard pot with the stainless steel lid is Swedish and from the 1960's.You have to love Scandinavian design, it is timesless.

The chrome edged coaster to the left pattern is Blue Fluted Plain, first introduced in 1775. The coaster was most likely produced in the early 1900's. My grandmother used this large pedestal bowl to serve sugared dried fruits: apricots, dates, prunes, and pineapple pieces during the winter holidays. Nummy!

oldnewgreenredo


I've added the red candles, traditional in a Danish home--and a few vintage ornaments and I will add a few fresh closer to Christmas. That's all the decor the cabinet will be embellished with for Christmas. The basket on the right is unmarked German paste, it is a flower frog with holes for arranging...but it has the cobalt colors so lives with it's Danish neighbors.


oldnewgreenredo

Royal Copenhagen porcelain figurine of a milkmaid and a cow and cat, on a mound base, hand decorated in naturalistic colors, signed on the side of the base Axel Locher, marked underneath. Designed by Axel Locher. The sweet little cat is waiting for her turn to have some milk.
Danish dairy cheese is a tradition on our holiday tables and everyday.







oldnewgreenredo

The center cabinet holds children figurines, some cut crystal, and my grandmother's wedding goblets. The top shelf with the oval platter has the 'Gooseboy Thief', and the middle shelf, Peder picking up corn while a small goose tries to get more himself.


oldnewgreenredo

In the Left cabinet is my favorite, and the only piece I asked to inherit, Bing & Grondahl's Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author of the "Snow Queen" which "Frozen" was based on and many other fairytales and allegorical stories. Here he reads to a girl and a small boy sits astride a melon intently listening.


oldnewgreenredo

The girl figure on her stomach with a book (looks like me at age 12) and a young boy on a stool drinking milk.  At this point the Royals and Bings...become pretty much intertwined. About the end of 19th mid-century saw both companies producing figurines, dinnerware and collector's plates in similar styles.

Bing and Grondahl origninally specialized in painting relief designs and figurines. Both companies began Christmas Plates in the late 1800's, part of a tradition of patrons serving their 'help' plates of goodies on 'Christmas Plates'. Our family split my grandmother's collection dating back to the very beginning. I will share some of those in another post.

oldnewgreenredo

Bing and Grondahl did the large vase with the sailboat and the parakeet figurine. The blue crystal birds are Mantorp from Sweden. A leaf platter is perfect for serving sweets.

oldnewgreenredo

The "Goose Thief" boy is caught in the act of trying to wrangle a couple of ornery geese. Many of the figurines are agrarian in nature, stolen moments of busy farm life.

The bird on the nest is from DJ Copenhagen, Dahl Jensen and quite rare. Jensen broke from Royal Copenhagen in 1855 and went out on his own. His family produced fine figurines and decor until 1984. The DJ birds and animals are exceptional and highly regarded for their quality, colors and design.


oldnewgreenredo

A pair of vintage American glass blue sugar bowl and jam dish with lid, and blue Swedish glass bobeches on the candlesticks. You can see the gorgeous freehand painting on the coffeepot and platter here.

oldnewgreenredo

The blue glass compote on the middle shelf is Swedish and holds red vintage ornaments. My great-great-grandmother's watch hangs on a small stand in front of the dinnerware. The top shelf holds a vase with a Sailing ship another RC piece.

The small  blue and white duck is probably German unmarked paste, fits in with everything else though. I have had that forever and had originally purchased it for my mother at an antique show.

I love the gravy boat, it's huge...and the leaf serving plate on the right which I have in three sizes.


oldnewgreenredo

 I love the gravy boat, it is so large and the leaf serving plate on the right which I have in three sizes.


oldnewgreenredo

I have two coffeepots and cream and sugar sets, which is lucky because this pattern was discontinued in 2012 after over 230 some years in production. Every flower was hand painted strictly in cobalt blues-freehand by individual artists, who signed, numbered, and dated each piece.

We have service for twelve and an additional coffee service for about twenty. Some of the cups and saucers are from the early 1800's.

oldnewgreenredo

I couldn't leave well enough alone, and began swapping out the ornaments.  The gold one with polkadots is from the 60's and the silver are very old and have a raised pattern.

oldnewgreenredo

They all seemed to travel about the cabinet before settling down in one place, today, lol.

oldnewgreenredo

Here the duck proudly holds a vintage ornament instead of a red.

Add caption

Two small mercury glass vintage bulbs, and a pale blue bell from the 60-70's. A small shell from Denmark fills in the bottom of a cutglass footed dish.


oldnewgreenredo

This little guy had a dingy cotton string holder, so I know it was very old and from my grandmother's collection as she used butcher string to hang her ornaments on her flocked trees in the 50's and 60's. He sits in one of my Kosta Boda wine glasses, another old company from Sweden in production since 1742.


oldnewgreenredo

The finishing touches will be a REDO to add some fresh GREENs next week, also a tradition.
From my family's Danish traditions to yours... 
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukuh

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

Thank you for stopping by, 


 Sandi

19 comments:

  1. Beautiful porcelain. I love the vintage christmas decorations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping, and vintage I think is best, lol. Sandi

      Delete
  2. The porcelain is very pretty. I like how you displayed your ornaments. Honestly they look good in anything and wish we could keep them out all winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guilty of getting Christmas up late and enjoying it through January, at least some of the small things---and the lights...we so need lights in the gray days of winter. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi

      Delete
  3. Beautiful and interesting! Thank you so much for sharing it all with "Let's Talk Vintage!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many only know these companies for the flood of Christmas plates in the 80-90's---while it had been a 100 year old tradition by then. Thanks so much for having such a great venue to display vintage, Sandi

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, and commenting, Sandi

      Delete
  5. Hi Sandi, I just love blue and white and this collection is stunning. Adding the red for the holiday is perfection. Your treasures are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. I just have to go back and see the pics again. Beautiful!!xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks so much Celestina, waiting to add some cedar clippings. Having the heat on here makes our houses so dry--fresh greens shrivel up. Stop by anytime, I wish Texas wasn't so far away...smiles, Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sandi, I found you on Shabbilicious Friday and enjoyed looking at your blue and white transfer ware. It is so beautiful. I guess it is the Dane in me coming out. lol xx Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought perhabs you were Danish from some of your posts, thanks for stoppping by and commenting. Gladelig Jule! Sandi

      Delete
  8. Your dishes and figurines are so very pretty and look wonderful with the red! Those weasels are the cutest!!! Best ~ Mickie

    ReplyDelete
  9. The weasels are my favorite, and will land on the console...when I get it set, I will post. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful porcelain. It was wonderful to hear the background of these wonderful pieces, and a bit of your family's history with them.
    God Bless, Merry Christmas. Susan-Susie'sChristmasCottage@blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sandi, what a gorgeous collection of blue and white! I love it mixed with the red. That gravy boat is wonderful!! Thanks for sharing with Creating Christmas.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your blue and white china and figurines are so lovely, Sandi, and so well-displayed. Thanks for sharing them with us at Vintage Charm!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks to all, I haven't replied to by mail! Sandi

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi