Lessons in Natural History at Georg Jensen London

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London was first introduced to the elegantly pared back goods of Danish design house Georg Jensen in 1926, and a newly opened boutique follows in the brand’s minimal footsteps. The brand’s new home counts over 175 square meters, with fittings and interiors overseen by Danish interior architect David Thulstrup. Creations including archival designs, such as a diamond studded ‘Necklace 115’ dated 1969, the Koppel watch range and new men’s leather collections are displayed against gently lit glass, marble and slatted wood. We are particularly looking forward to seeing the brand’s upcoming collaboration with Marc Newson CBE, the industrial designer who last added bright orange fleece to monogrammed backpacks for Louis Vuitton.

However difficult it may be to divert the eye from all that polished silver, a highlight of this new boutique are the many raw natural materials on display, adding lessons in natural history and geology to shopping. A sparkling emerald of gargantuan proportions, weighing 33 kilograms, is left uncut and in its rough natural state. Nearby, a display shows the same stone now polished and cut, and later set in a beautiful necklace. These rare stones are courtesy of Gemfields, who have collaborated with Georg Jensen, topping sculptural jewellery with richly coloured rubies and emeralds. These pieces are inspired by inspired Vivianna Torun, one of the original silversmiths designing for the company. Collaborations such as these have always reigned supreme at Jensen and in the new boutique a trio of tables continues this legacy. Said trio of imposing tables also marks another exploration of nature’s materials: using sturdy wood, resins and seemingly liquid silver, artist and cabinetmaker Laura Bergsoe’s creations are part shop fitting, part exhibited object. Collaborations such as these, in addition to a focus on raw materials seem to follow the founder’s ideals seamlessly.

Born in 1866, in Raadvad, an enclave just north of bustling Copenhagen, Jensen apprenticed as a Silversmith before enrolling at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, applying his skill to many a creative field – but in particular sculpture. Following his graduation, Jensen, the son of a knife grinder, focused on moulding clay, first as an exhibiting artist and later as a modeller for local porcelain companies. 1901 marked Jensen’s fateful return to silver, with his artistic approach to the craft setting the corner stone of the modern company’s ethos. The sinuous lines of his early designs mirrored Art Nouveau’s celebration of nature, and engendered much demand. To this end, the firm opened numerous international showrooms, with Jensen silverware glittering in 1920s London, New York and Berlin. Throughout the ensuing decades, George Jensen was to champion objects both visually pleasing and pragmatic in use, collaborating with the most innovative designers of the day.

 

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Sofia Sallons