This is a gifted set of RIDGWAY's Blue Danish - a traditional set that is about 40+ years old; it was seldom used, then stored in an attic for years before being gifted to me since I rather like pretty things. The crockery is lovely & thin, a bright cobalt blue pattern & has some matching covered vegetable bowls, various sized platters & bowls.
The history of the pattern is as follows:
One of the most famous patterns is ‘ Denmark’ or ‘Blue Denmark’ produced by the business known as Furnivals Ltd and its successors. The pattern has a fascinating history.
The Furnivals ‘Blue Denmark’ pattern is based on an original produced in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the 19thCentury. Its origins, however are even older and tradition has it that the pattern was brought to Europe from China or Japan at some time in the late 18th Century.
Frantz Heinrich Muller first produced the pattern at his pottery in Copenhagen at some time between 1776 and 1779. After establishing his pottery he travelled to Germany and recruited skilled workers from the Meissen factories. It is likely he also discovered and brought back what was to become known as the ‘Danish’ pattern.
Other names have been ‘Denmark’, ‘Blue Denmark’, ‘Danish Pattern’ and ‘Mussel Pattern’. Muller was a chemist and his contribution may have been the development of the characteristic ultramarine blue used on the wares. The pattern was immediately popular and when Muller’s factory was rescued by the financial support of King Christian VII and became the Royal Porcelain Factory of Copenhagen ‘Royal Copenhagen’, the ‘Danish’ pattern was central to its success – as it still is today.
On close examination the pattern consists of a repeating pattern of mussels and stylized flowers traditionally in an under-glaze blue on a white background. The pattern is complex, but not over-elaborate and sits crisply on any pure white background.
To quote from the Pottery Gazette – “The effect pleases everyone with any sense at all of neatness and clarity. It seems somehow to typify the typical Danish love of hygiene in food preparation and service, this quality being self-expressed in terms of coolness. There is a clean, satisfying, superlative beauty in it that seems to conjure up a sense of health and vitality.”Furnivals were the most prominent of several Staffordshire potters to produce versions of the pattern based on the Royal Copenhagen original. Company records suggest that the pattern was produced from the 1850s and with virtually no modification to the pattern or shape was produced until the closure of the business in 1968.
I have only a very few bits of the Royal Copenhagen pattern since they are rather expensive
These patterns are similar - the lovely Blue Danish by Ridgway
DENMARK / MYOTT's pattern Finlandia
A version made by SAXON
Royal Copenhagen & Furnivals versions together
A similar pattern made by Ironstone
and some of the backstamps in my collection
For me, the test of any set is if I enjoy using & looking at it...
This was a New Year place setting for friends - do you like it?
Are you a fan of traditional crockery? Can your set be mixed with other sets? What pattern do you favour & why?