Following 14 years at the Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory, the Danish sculptor Arno Malinowski (1899-1976) turned his hand to silversmithing, working with Jensen from 1936-44 and 1949-65.
Many of his designs were for hollowware and flatware, but he is best known for a series of silver animal brooches.
These included the 1937 kneeling deer, a pair of dolphins in rushes and butterflies on a flower, that was in production for many years. The kongemaerket or ‘kingmark’ design marking the 70th birthday of Christian X in September 1940 – and worn by Danes to show resistance to the German occupation – was also Malinowski’s.
Many of these brooches are regular saleroom visitors and prices from £100-250 are the norm. However, a rarer example at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) of Leyburn on April 7 shot to £650.
This square form brooch modelled as a stylised deer and a squirrel among leaves (model 318) was a post-war production with import marks for London 1964. It found two eager bidders in competition way above the £100-150 estimate. Auction records suggest it was a full price.
If Malinowski belongs to the middle generation of Georg Jensen artists working in the Art Deco style, then Henning Koppel (1917-82) epitomises the Scandinavian post-war style. Simple, asymmetric organic shapes were a radical departure at the time (Koppel created his first range of jewellery for Jensen in 1945, aged 27), although the impact of many of these designs has lessened. As suggested by the group of pieces in Leyburn, many are still in production today.
Koppel’s ‘amoeba’ brooch, with the model number 322 and import hallmarked for London 1959 (the actual design date c.1948) sold at £160, while an elliptical form brooch and ring (model 390) with import marks for London 1975 took £280.
An example of a Koppel semi-abstract fish brooch (model 343), without the enamel ‘gills’ decoration on some versions, took £200.
The £140,000 bracelet
While Jensen brooches were at the more affordable end of Tennants’ recent jewellery sales, it would be amiss not to record the remarkable £140,000 paid on March 17 against an estimate of just £1500- 2000 for a multi-gemstone and diamond ‘tutti frutti’ style bracelet.
Fashioned with carved and cabochon emeralds, sapphires and rubies to pavé set diamond scroll links, it was signed twice Cartier London but not sold as such. It came from a private estate. Several dealers thought the cataloguing over-cautious and a long bidding battle ensued that was won by Trafalgar Jewellers of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.