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Anton Michelsen


Anton Michelsen (1809 – 1877) Born in Odense, Denmark, he established one of the most important Danish jewelry families. In 1830, after completing his education in Odense, he moved to Copenhagen where, during the next eleven years, he worked for various young masters.

He opened his first shop in Denmark in 1841 after acting as a journeyman for Jørgen Balthasar Dalhoff from 1834-35 while also taking courses at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. With assistance from Dalhoff, Michelsen received The Travelling Scholarship of the Reisersen Foundation. He then goes to Berlin and during the late 1830’s works in several workshops including Mention & Wagner, a large, contemporary silver and gold works whose primary shop is in Paris. While working for Mention & Wagner, he learns enameling.

He returns to Denmark in 1840 and earns his master certification. In 1841 he receives a trade license and opens his workshop in Gothersgade. In 1848 he is officially appointed to the Royal Danish Court as, “Court Goldsmith and Maker of Orders” but, in fact, had been designing for Danish royals since he opened his shop.

In 1855 he is the only Danish silversmith to exhibit at the World’s Fair in Paris. As his fame spreads, he becomes the leading master at other Danish exhibitions. At the Nordic Exhibition in 1872, it is obvious that his craftsmanship and design is among the best in Denmark.

For four generations, the company made high quality jewelry. The royal court connection gave the Michelsen dynasty opportunities to produce spectacular, distinctive silverware. It also made much of the everyday silverware owned by the Royal family. Several of these items have been given to the Amalienborg Museum. Silverwork from A. Michelsen, now part of Georg Jensen, are highly prestigious.

Michelsen had significant influence on Danish jewelry design during the 19th and early 20th century working in the Old Nordic style. Noteworthy pieces include large, baroque-style ornamental tureens and decorative rococo-style candelabras.

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