Sunday, August 31, 2008

Royal Copenhagen's Finest Table Collection

In June 2007, I visited the Royal Copenhagen shop in Copenhagen, Denmark. The upstairs floor had an exclusive gallery that showcased the Flora Danica collection. It was very impressive. A couture interpretation of 18th century european garment fashion display was included in the gallery with mannequins adorned is sumptous fabrics embroidered with botanicals that mirrored the collection. A single dinner plate from this collection costs $2,000.00(ouch). Some of my entire formal dinner sets are worth that much. However, as beautiful as they are, none reflect the detail and craftsmanship displayed in the Flora Danica collection. These pieces are worthy of their untouchable status.

The History of Royal Copenhagen
The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain factory was founded in 1775, under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie, by the chemist, Frantz Heinrich Müller, who following years of experimentation and trials finally mastered the production the coveted hard porcelain.

The three waved lines, symbolising Denmark’s three straits: Øresund, Store Bælt and Lille Bælt, are adopted as the trademark. one above the other, were adopted as a factory mark in 1775.

The factory was beset by difficulties during its first few years, but the problems of 'poor raw materials, lack of experience, unsuccessful firings, disappointing experiments' were eventually overcome, and in 1779 the absolute monarch King Christian VII assumed financial responsibility, thus guaranteeing the future of the porcelain factory.

One of Royal Copenhagen's most famous patterns is the 'Flora Danica'. This service, still in production, is renowned as the most exquisite and most expensive in the world.
The 'Flora Danica' was originally commissiooned in 1790 by the Danish king, according to legend, for Catherine the Great of Russia.
Danish flora is reproduced on the porcelain copying the copperplates published in one of the Age of Enlightenment’s greatest botanical works, Flora Danica. When the service is delivered to the royal family, twelve years later, it comprises 1,802 pieces. The service is revived for the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the future King Edward VII of England, in 1863.

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