An ode to Denmark.


I love Denmark. I’ve been there only once, years ago, to Copenhagen, one of the nicest places on earth, but I consider myself half-Danish. It all started with an ad on the back cover of a magazine in the early 1990s, Royal Copenhagen had its Musselmalet pattern painted on the beautiful hand of a china painter, so that we’ll never forget that it’s handpainted. I was sold. First of all, I am quite prone to buying anything that calls itself royal, and this porcelain pattern, Chinoiserie at its best, created in 1775, was so beautiful that I just couldn’t resist, I bought my first pieces the very next day, and I’ve been completing it ever since, tureens for Christmas, tea pots, I smashed several, for birthdays, tea cups to cheer me up on low days, bowls to have another reason for dinner parties, I became quite good at being obsessed with it, I celebrated each new job with the purchase of a new breakfast plate, and as every single piece looks different, yes, it’s really handpainted, each china painter signs it with his initials, I still know which one is the DDB plate or whichever advertising agency led to the purchase. Moving to Zurich meant buying my Havas plate, and I had to look for a shop that sold Royal Copenhagen. Boy, was I lucky. Aux Arts du Feu, at the corner of Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse, opposite Bulgari, made my heart skip several beats at a time, they had pieces in stock from the late 70s, with the old green mark, long before production was moved to Thailand, antiques so to speak although never used, Switzerland doesn’t seem to care about Danish design, God knows why, maybe because it was my destiny to discover that store, one of the first things I bought was this tea cup, Musselmalet in full lace, a re-design from the 1880s, even more ornate, Danish magnificence in extremis, tea still doesn’t taste better, but it definitely looks more splendid. So, whenever I eat or drink, I’m enthralled by Danish splendour and beauty. And when I watch Borgen, of course. Long live the Queen!


3 thoughts on “An ode to Denmark.

  1. I’ve long been an admirer of your stunning collection but it’s lovely to learn the story of how it all began. Like you, I’ve only been to Denmark once, also to Copenhagen, but absolutely love it – I even used to learn Danish because of all these TV series which grip me week after week. My own collection is more eclectic, modern and Finnish as I have crockery by iittala, Marimekko and Arabia but can trace each purchase back to a particular moment and place which just adds to the pleasure of using them. For a while, I’ve been wanting to mention that your pieces remind me of that part in the final volume of Proust where the narrator picks up a volume of the Goncourt journal and reads the description of a dinner at Mme Verdurin’s at which the most exquisite plates are used. Thank you for such an elegant and beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my god…another addict. My sweetheart (who is a Dane) has the same disease, looking for the ones before production went to Thailand etc. When we went to Tokyo some weeks ago, he even bought things that are being produced only for the Japanese market, just out of his obsession with it to have every piece available, Mega, Half Lace and Full Lace, totally crazy! The trouble is, due to drastic budget saving programs since the company was sold to Fiskars, many products are being discontinued which is quite frustrating. Since I am not so much the obsessive guy, I just have the simple Mega line that everyone seems to have in DK these days. A friend of mine is the Art Director for the company and said that Mega saved Royal Copenhagen´s life! JAN, fahr bitte schnell nach Kopenhagen! Aber von Zürich aus ist es weit…von hier aus nur ein 40 Minuten Sprung über die Ostsee.

    Liked by 2 people

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