We are excited to offer this fabulous piece of Mid-20th Century ceramics. It is an outstanding jug or ewer designed by Bode Willumsen for Royal Copenhagen circa 1940s which features a roaring lion as its handle. The king of the jungle has his front legs stretched forward around the neck of the jug and his hind legs stretched back and perched on the bulbous body of the jug. His extremely long tail sinuously forming the loop for the handle. It has wonderful sculptural form. And the glaze is nothing short of magnificent with its matt oxblood red color with just a touch of sea green showing through in small accent spots and the matt roughness which begs you to touch it. This marvelous piece of stoneware bears the Royal Copenhagen mark and high-quality workmanship. It unfortunately had an accident in its life as one of the ears has been broken and repaired. The repair must be felt to know it is there.
Bode Willumsen, 1895-1987, was born to an artist father J. F. Willumsen. He trained as a blacksmith but later went on to learn drawing at Bing and Grondahl and Royal Copenhagen. In the 1930s he began working in his own workshop but the shortage of materials during the war years caused him to close. He went back to his roots at Royal Copenhagen where in his early years there he used small human and animal figures to adorn his work. His primitive and rough glazes were executed expertly and revered. He ended his career concentrating on enameled copper.
Royal Copenhagen was founded in 1775 by chemist Frantz Heinrich Muller as the Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactory. Under protection of Denmark’s Queen Juliane Marie, and like all protected porcelain workshops in Europe at that time, their products were meant to compete with the widely desired and beautiful Chinese imports. With Muller’s discovery of a local source for kaolin which is the crucial ingredient in fine porcelain, the Queen, knowing it would be in her economy’s best interest, gave Muller a 50-year monopoly for porcelain production. Royal Copenhagen is best known for their cobalt blue on white china. Through its long-life Royal Copenhagen passed hands several times. And in the 20th century even incorporating with other renowned Danish companies such as Georg Jensen, Holmegaard, and Bing and Grondahl. Today it is part of Fiskars.
This extraordinary Bode Willumsen Royal Copenhagen jug should be in your home and collection. Make it yours.