Iconic Danish jewelry and tabletop brand Georg Jensen helped shape our understanding of ever-coveted Scandinavian design.
Jensen, who studied sculpture before turning to jewelry and metal, used art nouveau’s curving, switchback lines (but not its ornamentation) to create jewelry, hollowware, and objects in the early 1900s that were revolutionary in their lovely simplicity, asymmetry, and technical polish.
Jensen’s 1935 obituary in the New York Herald Tribune called him the greatest silversmith of the last 300 years. And though the designer has been gone for almost a century, the profound mark he left on global design means the pressure is always on within his namesake brand to create pieces and collections that reach the high bars he established for innovation—and sheer beauty.
The atelier used one of Jensen’s most whimsical and well-known pieces: the Grape bowl—designed by Jensen and his brother-in-law, Harald Nielsen, in 1918, and now considered an iconic art nouveau masterpiece—as inspiration for its Moonlight Grapes jewelry collection. (Grapes as a motif first appeared at Georg Jensen in 1918 in silver hollowware, and have evolved as a key motif for over a century for the atelier.)
Now, Georg Jensen’s chief creative officer, Nicholas Manville, and his team have debuted 12 new pieces for the Moonlight Grapes collection. The shiny, satisfyingly round styles were fabricated in both sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, with diamonds accenting many of the gold designs.
“The language Georg Jensen created with Grapes is so strong that there are so many ways to work with the design,” Manville said in a company statement. “It lends itself to large, sculptural pieces and to more delicate classics in both silver and gold, and gold with diamonds.”
Of the new designs, he said, “There is a new lightness expressed in the gold and diamond pieces that brings the entire collection a new level of sparkle. A new dimension of movement is being introduced to Moonlight Grapes that moves beyond the classic grape shapes. The pieces move and flow with the body like a vine in nature. Now, the collection is a more sculptural and free interpretation of grapes but with the same subtlety of light and shadow found in the earliest pieces.”
Here are some of my favorite pieces from the maison’s new collection of Grapes:
Top: Moonlight Grapes earrings in 18k yellow gold with white diamonds, $3,300; georgjensen.com (all photos courtesy of Georg Jensen)
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