Last week I attended the opening of a very special exhibition. Royal Copenhagen has written impressive porcelain history since 1775, and this year an amazing historical exhibition of Royal Copenhagen’s history will take place and mark the incredible 240-year anniversary.
In Denmark, we consider Blue Fluted Plain part of our cultural heritage and something we all have a connection to in one way or another. Passed down from generation to generation, pieces of Blue Fluted Plain can be found in many Danish homes. 240 years is a long time, and believe me, the Royal Copenhagen story is extremely interesting.
The foundation of Royal Copenhagen in 1775 is made possible after the mineralogist Frantz Heinrich Müller found his way to the recipe for porcelain through a process of trial and error. He invites investment in porcelain factory shares and writes that the main aim of the factory is to manufacture things for “ordinary people” – and included in this is the blue painted porcelain. Fuel for the ovens’ high temperature is a significant production expense and multi-coloured porcelain has to be fired many times. However, blue painted porcelain only has to be fired twice. Of all the blue patterns the factory produces, it is Blue Fluted that becomes the factory’s mainstay for the following 240 years.
Today the Blue Fluted service from the 1700’s still gets new pieces to meet changing eating habits. Over the set’s long life of 240 years, about 1500 new pieces have been created. This means that every private set is unique because it has been composed from the huge stock of 1500 pieces. Individual private sets often become a mixture of pieces inherited from much-loved grandparents, finds from antique shops and new purchases.
If you want to lean more about how tables were set in the late 1700s, why Blue Fluted acquired a greyish tint in the early 1800s and how Royal Copenhagen dominated the World Exhibition in Paris for years and years, you should really consider visiting the exhibition showing now in the Copenhagen Flagship store and if you can’t, you can read the entire story via the Royal Copenhagen website. Extremely interesting if you ask me.