The 1848 Danish Windmill Museum includes an exquisite Danish import shop that features the old and new from Denmark. Featuring plates and dated collectibles from Royal Copenhagen, Bing & Grøndahl, Georg Jensen, Holmegaard and Anne Beate. You’ll find traditional Danish cookware and forms, Christmas decorations, Viking and heritage gifts, food, books, and more. Shop over 900 products in our secure online store. Proceeds from purchases support the operations and programming of the Danish Windmill, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Fine Danish Porcelain-A Passion for Blue for Since 1775 Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl Plates and Collectibles
The tradition of Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl’s craftsmanship traces back to the early 1770’s when the Queen Dowager Juliane Marie and her son became partners of the “Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactor”.
The Royal family managed the operation for nearly a century until it passed into private hands in 1868. Shortly thereafter, Arnold Krog, an ambitious young painter and architect who managed the Manufactory, began to experiment with underglaze painting, a technique which allowed for beautiful paintings which soon made the Danish plates and collectibles world famous.
The color blue was used on the plates because it was the only color that could withstand the extreme temperatures required to make this type of porcelain. The blue and white plates are distinct symbols of Danish craftsmanship and are internationally recognized for their unique artistic style and have captivated collectors worldwide.
The Annual Christmas Collectibles
For over a century the Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl Christmas plates and collectibles have become an annual tradition. Each year, Royal Copenhagen releases its dated Christmas plate, bell, mug, ornament, plaquette, Christmas tree, Santa and figurine. The Bing & Grøndahl series includes a Christmas plate, bell, mug, ornament, Mother’s Plate and Children’s Plate.
The beautiful and unique hand-painted Danish plates have avid collectors all around the world and are treasured heirlooms. Annual Christmas plates from each year for the past 100 years are still available for purchase, including the original Royal Copenhagen Christmas plate from 1908.
Georg Jensen Collectibles
Born in 1866, Georg Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen. At the age of 14, Jensen began his training in goldsmithing. From childhood, Jensen had longed to be a sculptor so when his apprenticeship ended in 1884, he began studying sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Although his clay sculpture was well-received, making a living as a fine artist proved difficult because sales were not strong enough to support Jensen, who by this point was a widower with two small sons. In 1901, he abandoned ceramics and began again as a silversmith and designer with the master, Mogens Ballin. In 1904, he risked what small capital he had and opened his own little silversmithy.
Jensen’s training in metalsmithing along with his education in the fine arts revived the tradition of the artist craftsman. The beauty and quality of his Art Nouveau creations caught the eye of the public and his success was assured. The Copenhagen quarters were greatly expanded and before the end of the 1920s, Jensen had opened retail stores in Berlin (1909), London (1921), and New York (1924).
The history of Holmegaard glassworks began in 1823 when Count Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe sought permission from the King of Denmark to establish a glassworks at Holmegaard Mose (“Holmegaard Bog”).
Before receiving an answer to his request, the Count died. His dowager, Countess Henriette Danneskiold- Samsøe, received permission from the King shortly after the death of her husband and decided to pursue the project. The factory was to be located in the bog because there was sufficient fuel there to produce the high temperatures needed for the glass kiln.
Initial production at Holmegaard glassworks began in 1825. Early on, the factory produced only green bottles, but the Countess also wanted to produce clear glass tumblers, and the Bohemian glassblowers were able to manufacture these.
The history of Holmegaard glassworks is a story of a few small glassworks in a peat bog, growing to become part of a large modern group over a period of 185 years. During the 20th century, artists entered the equation, designing and shaping Holmegaard’s glass products. This was the start of a long and proud tradition, and as a result, even to this very day, some of the best artists in Denmark are associated with Holmegaard’s glass production.
Anne Beate Designs
There was a small shop called NumbSkull Jack that was located near the house of Hans Christian Andersen in Odense. The owner of this shop was Inge Stokkebye, and she was the mother of three beautiful daughters and one son.
One afternoon in 1963, she came home to find her youngest daughter, Anne Beate, lounging on the couch thumbing through a stack of movie magazines. According to Inge, this would just not do so she told Anne that she needed someone to make some pixies, and that would be a job just for her.
Alarmed, Anne Beate told her mother that she couldn’t because she’d never done anything like that before! Her mother replied, “Nonsense, you can do anything if you give it a try!”
The first 40-50 pixies were not easy. Anne Beate shed many tears and said that she would never learn. But she did – and after a couple of months, it was as if the pixies themselves took over.
“Girl With Bell” was the first perfect pixie girl born in 1963. Today the family features almost 80 members and it is still growing. All pixies are still produced and sold today and new pixies are born every year.