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Henning Koppel


Henning Koppel (1918 – 1981) A native of Copenhagen, Henning Koppel trained as a sculptor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and from 1936-39 at the Academie Ranson in Paris. He is known for precise designs and also for hollowware. He used clay models to create his design’s three dimensionality.

His work gave him his reputation as a leading Danish silver craftsman. He joined the Georg Jensen Company in 1945 when he was 27. He had only recently returned to Denmark from Sweden where he, a Jew, had fled to escape the German occupation.

From the beginning, his silverwork was abstract, sculptural and unlike anything previously produced at the Georg Jensen Silversmithy. His early work in jewelry had flowing forms and looked organic. Koppel’s work was inspired by modern art. It attracted international attention and made Georg Jensen a leader in the Scandinavian modern design movement.

Koppel also designed porcelain pieces for Bing and Grondahl, lights and clocks for Louis Poulsen & Co., glass for Kastrup and Orrefors and furniture for Kvetny & Sonner. In the late 40s, Koppel shifted to designing hollowware. His work has a distinct quality that shows his training as a sculptor.

He may also have shifted perceptions in Functionalism when he said, “Things should not be too insistently practical, otherwise everything drowns in boredom.”

Koppel was the first Scandinavian to embrace organic abstraction. His biomorphic shapes were sculptures in action. The sterling bracelets and brooches he created were unadorned or inlaid with bright pools of enamel.

He received the Lunning Prize in 1953 and gold medals at the Milan exhibitions of 1951, 1954 and 1957. In 1963, he received the International Design Award of the American Institute of Interior Designers.

In 1957, Koppel created the CARAVEL pattern of flatware. Some consider this the most handsome silver pattern created in modern times. The pattern was named after the French jet plane Caravelle, which the Scandinavian Airline System had acquired. Caravel won the prestigious Der Goldene Loffel award in 1963.

Koppel’s’ monogram “HK” is occasionally stamped beside the Jensen mark.

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