Jewellery from Norway, Sweden and Finland
We see more jewellery from Denmark than the other Scandanavian countries.This is partly down to the success of Georg Jensen and other leading Danish jewellery designers.
There are equally outstanding pieces from Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Norway's leading silversmith, established in 1876. The company became world-famous for its enamel jewellery in the first half of the 20th century and by the second half was exporting most of its production. Some of the most popular designs were butterflies and leaves. The leaves were designed by Willy Winnaess and bear his signature.
In the 1950s David-Andersen took the initiative to foster young and innovative designers of modernist 'Scandinavian Design' silver jewellery, with or without enamel. These much sought-after pieces all bear the initials of the designer, preceded by INV (inventor). These include Bjørn Sigurd Østern, Harry Søby, Marianne Berg, Unn Tangerud and Ben David-Andersen as well as Uni David Andersen, the fourth generation of D-As. She established her workshop in 1959 and continued to design for the family firm.
David Andersen silver bracelet with blue guilloche enamel
David Andersen silver and enamel butterfly brooch
Early Willy Winnaess silver-gilt and enamel brooch
1962 Hannelore Sorge cloisonné brooch for David Andersen
Marius Hammer was one of the famous masters of Scandinavian Art Nouveau. He lived in Bergen and belonged to a family of hereditary Norwegian jewellers. Many generations of which have preserved the traditions of northern goldsmithing. Marius(1847 – 1927) lived in a turbulently innovative period in decorative and applied art. He experimented with traditional and new styles. The Hammer style is radically different from the typical Scandinavian modern style, with its simple lines and cool range of enamels. Marius Hammer usually filled the simple and symmetrical outer contour of the frame with filigree and additional decorative elements. He used the motifs of traditional Viking ornaments, but creatively transformed them. At the same time he managed to preserve the harmony of the ornament in his transformations. Hammer’s company was very successful during his lifetime. However, like any business dependent on individual talent, the company was unable to continue its activities after the death of its founder. Marius Hammer’s decorations are quite rare. These are designer antiques and quite unusual for Scandinavian modernity.
Marius Hammer silver gilt and enamel filigree fringe necklet
sold for £205
After training with David Andersen, Holmsen established his workshop in 1904. His son Ivar joined the company in 1942 and took over the company in 1950. A prolific producer of traditional filigree as well as modernist enamelled jewellery and modernist plain silver. Closed in 1971.
Ivar T Holth
First registered in Oslo in 1943, this silversmithy was a prolific producer of guilloche enamel jewellery, with an extensive export business. Run by Per Holth from 1977 to 2007. Sometimes spelt Holt.
Apprenticed to J.Tostrup he obtained a license in 1941. Independent designer and manufacturer of high-quality vermeil guilloche enamel jewellery from 1953, with considerable exports to the United States. The workshop continued after his death in 1976.
Bernard Meldahl, a specialist in guilloche enamel jewellery, died in 1950. His workshop was taken over by H Myhre, and his designs may have been produced after that time.
Marius hammer trembler silver gilt and enamel brooch, c. 1910
sold for £225
Marius Hammer silver wire and enamel brooch
Aksel Holmsen brooch with bright blue guilloche enamel
sold for £50
Bernard Meldahl silver and enamel brooch £95
Apprenticed to Marius Hammer. Licensed in 1920 when he established his workshop. Died 1951, but the company continued under the joint owner Odd Frisch, and even after the latter’s death in 1970. Closed 1987.
In the early 1950s, Hans Myhre expanded his business with the purchase of both the Hroar Prydz and Bernhard Meldahl jewellery businesses. His pieces sometimes display his Myhre anchor mark below the established Hroar Prydz mark. Ultimately, David Andersen bought both the Myhre & Prydz lines.
Norway Plus Designs
Norway Plus Designs was started in 1958 in Frederikstad as an applied arts centre for the development of modern design in ceramics, glass and textiles as well as jewellery. The head of the silver workshop was Erling Christoffersen, together with his wife Anna Greta Eker, were the chief designers. A year later they were joined by the young Tone Vigeland. It was these three who were the stars of the company. They produced innovative modern silver designs which won favour worldwide and which are still much in demand today. The silver workshop was closed down in the 1970s. Another member of the team was Odvar Pettersen, who was the production manager. He also designed a couple of pieces. Most Plus Design pieces feature the signature of the designer as well as ND in a box and + in a box.
An early to mid-century jeweller producing fine Guilloche enamel pieces. His company was bought by David Andersen in 1950.
Hroar Prydz silver gilt turquoise guilloche enamel earrings
sold for £62
Hroar Prydz silver butterfly brooch
Hroar Prydz butterfly brooch
Established his company in 1900, largely as an agency representing traditional Norwegian jewellery. In 1950 his son Per Scharning took over and started a separate workshop, growing the production of silver and enamel jewellery. It closed in 1980.
Tone Vigeland (born 1938) trained at the Norwegian National College of Art and Design (NCAD). She was apprenticed to PLUS Designs (Fredrikstad, Norway) from 1959 – 61 when she set up her workshop. She continued to design for Plus, and the company continued to market all her innovative and successful series throughout the 1960s. Much of this was exported. Vigeland’s most famous earrings from this period are called ‘Sling’. They sit around the ear without the help of posts, hooks, screws or clips. In the 60s, Tone Vigeland was very obviously working in the Scandinavian Design tradition. Some of her early works bear witness of a strong influence from the Swedish artist Torun Bülow-Hübe who was working for the Georg Jensen Company in Denmark.
Albert Scharning silver spray brooch
Leading Swedish silver jewellery company located in Fallkoping, registered from 1946 to 96. Most famous for works designed by K.E.Palmberg, whose signature appears on these pieces. Other important modernist designers include Per Dåvik and Theresia Hvorslev -
Bengt Hallberg (BeH)
Renowned silversmith, established in 1947, still producing major collections.
Atelier Borgila was founded by Erik Fleming in Stockholm in 1921. His growing reputation led to commissions for the Swedish Royal family, which continue up to the present day. Purchases were bought by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1933. In the 1940s and 50s, Borgila cooperated with Anton Michelsen’s subsidiary in Sweden. The company continued under Erik’s son Lars until 2005, when it was purchased outright. The new buyer has retained the name and the back catalogue.
Theresia Hvorslev, Lidköping, born in 1935, is Sweden’s foremost and internationally acclaimed silversmith. She has numerous prizes and exhibitions of jewellery, hollowware and flatware to her name. She trained as a silversmith in Sweden and Germany. She then worked briefly for Georg Jensen, where she developed her love for the strictly sleek and simple lines of Scandinavian modern. In the 1960s she worked for the family metal ware firm Mema, where she designed jewellery and cutlery used by the wealthy for over 30 years. She then moved to the leading Swedish silversmith Alton, producing her iconic ‘winged’ and stylised floral designs. In 1975 she established her own studio ‘Silverknappen’ which is still in operation today, under the management of her eldest daughter Tabita.
Borgila handmade silver and enamel bracelet with purple enamel, modernist 1958
The Finnish company Kalevala Koru is renowned for their interpretations of historic jewellery pieces discovered at archaeological sites. The company was founded in 1935
Founded in Turku in 1953 and still manufacturing jewellery. Their middle market, stylish products have been widely exported to Europe and North America.
Founder and chief designer, Elis Kauppi. was a pioneer in Finnish modern jewellery. He started working with jewellery in 1936. After the war he produced simpler modernist pieces. Kupittaan Kulta Oy exported much of its production to Nordic and Central European countries, but also USA and Japan.
Most famous Finnish silversmith workshop, still producing pieces of outstanding quality and design. Chief mid-20th-century designer was Björn Weckström. Born in 1935, Bjorn joined the company that was to become Lapponia in 1963, introducing a succession of ground breaking and innovative collections in gold, silver and bronze. Most notable are the Space series, started in 1968. This was closely followed by the machine-age inspired Flame Bronze Series from 1969 onwards. Other important designers include Poul Havgaard, from Denmark in 1974 and the Hungarian silversmith Zoltan Popovits born 1940, who started working for Lapponia in 1975.
He learned his skills in his father's workshop and started his career with Kaunis Koru in the 1960s. He later moved to Auran Kultaseppä, the second oldest Finnish jewellery maker, where Piekäinen was artistic director and head designer. In 1991, he founded his own business PlatinOro.
Pentti Sarpaneva was inspired to create jewellery named after the bark of trees, weathered and dead pines and Karelian embroidery. Both the embroidery and the bark motifs require wax moulding casts, producing highly decorative surfaces.
Matti Hyvarinen (Sirokoru)
Matti Hyvärinen, started his career as a trainee at his father’s workshop in 1953 but soon established his studio at the age of 21, founding Sirokoru Ltd in 1958.
Established in the early 1960s by Hans Sten and Karl Laine. The company, based near Turku, is still thriving and producing the original designs of Karl Laine.
Bjorn Weckstrom for Lapponia silver cuff links c.1969 with their natural patina.