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Friday, April 8, 2011

Jens Quistgaard

Jens Quistgaard
Jens Quistgaard (1919-2008) was the son of sculptor Harald Quistgaard. The elder Quistgaard trained his son as a sculptor at an early age. At the same time, the young Jens learned to be a draftsman, joiner, smith and potter, all of which he mastered. His first museum showing was at age 15. He later apprenticed with silversmith Georg Jensen. He started his artistic career as a portrait painter, but he also created in metals and ceramics at that time.

During the 1940s, Quistgaard designed flatware, glassware, cookware and furniture. He also created graphic designs and did some architectural work. During World War II, he was part of the Danish Resistance.

In 1954 he started Dansk Designs Ltd. with American entrepreneur Ted Nierenberg and was the chief designer for the company for the next 30 years. During this period, he created flatware, cookware, pitchers, bowls, carving boards, ice buckets, candleholders, trays and tableware.

Though not as well-known as many designers of the time, Quistgaard's pieces could be found in millions of homes around the world from the 1950s through the 1980s, and he played an important role in introducing Danish Modern design to the public. During his career, he produced over 2000 designs.


Tiny taper candleholder
Chafing dish
Rare Woods ice bucket
Nesting tables
Kobenstyle fondue pot
Leather, teak and chrome lounge chair
Fjord flatware
Teak desk
Tiny taper candleholder
Teak pepper mills
Congo ice bucket
Enamel pitchers the fondue pot won't look so out of place


  1. I wonder why Scandinavian stuff was so popular then? Haven't figured that out. . .

  2. Lovely pieces! He had a great eye for balance and simplicity. But the fondue pot seem so out of place! :)

  3. 1950sarh: I'm thinking they were popular because they were so sleek and well-made and gorgeous. I'm just sayin'...;)

  4. @Tanya: Were you playing the Sesame Street game "One of these things is not like the others"? And should I add another photo of brightly colored cookware, so it won't feel so different? :)

  5. Yep, I was :)
    I think I just (probably unfairly) associate fonue pots with kitsch. But, as far as fondue pots go - it sure is good lookin'. ;)

  6. @Tanya: haha! I hadn't thought about the fact that your generation wasn't alive for the first fondue craze of the 60s/70s and were too young during the second wave craze of the late 80s/early 90s to remember it either. It does probably seem kitschy to you. We had some pretty wild fondue parties back in the day...and everyone I knew owned a fondue pot.

  7. I own 3 or 4 fondue pots today and have yet to have a fondue party! I can't stop loving them.
    That ice bucket, again, I adore it. So gorgeous.

  8. @Midcenturymadam: I love your new fondue pot! You're going to have to give at least one fondue party. We'd have several pots going at one time and do meats with all kinds of dipping sauces and then have great caramel-type dips for strawberries and chunks of cake. Of course, lots of wine drinking took place as you were waiting your turn to dip...:)