Georg Jensen: Wives, Sorrow, and Silver

By: Carly Hill, Staff Writer • Jun 16, 2012 • 0 Comments

Georg Jensen was and continues to be one of the biggest names in silver.  This past Tuesday, we learned where he came from and how he became the legend we continue to revere almost 80 years after his death.  Check out Tuesday’s blog to get caught up.  

After much training and a trip around the world, Jensen discovered his purpose.  He decided to create objects that would combine beauty with utility.  Once he opened his own shop, he started out making jewelry targeting the middle class.  His jewelry didn’t feature precious stones, but in the industrial age, when the middle class wore factory made jewelry, his unique, yet affordable jewelry was an instant success.  But it only started there.  Jensen is known from everything from jewelry to flatware to hollowware.  You name it.

In the early days of owning his shop, Jensen did it all.  He’d go from his workshop attire of flowing smock into his salesman attire complete with hat and silver tipped walking stick; sometimes he’d even wow customers with a dramatic cape.

Jensen had success collaborating with many different artists.   After some time, he married his housekeeper, Magne, who bore him a daughter – Vibeke.  In 1907, Magne died of tuberculosis.  Only a few months after his second wife’s death, Jensen fell in love a third time and married Johanne – sister of an apprentice in his workshop.  

The years Jensen was married to Johanne were the best of his life.  Business flourished and his home life was wonderful.  Johanne’s cheerful temperament was just what Jensen needed to compliment his dark moods.  It seems too improbable to be true, but Jensen’s third wife – Johanne, died of Spanish Influenza after 11 years of marriage.

Two years after Johanne’s death, Jensen married his fourth wife, Agnes, and they had one daughter – Mette. 

Jensen died in 1935, but his style and legacy are remembered world wide.  His life was full of change, sadness, success, pain…all elements that he poured into his art – making each piece beyond exquisite. 

Pictured above is Georg Jensen’s sterling silver pair of servers with an acorn pattern.  This is available from TheMcNally Company Antiques Inc. right here!  Carve out some time net week to learn, with us, about ivory.  Until next time, Happy Latiquing!