The Danish jewelry firm Hans Hansen made some of my favourite pieces of Scandinavian design. During the early years of its jewelry production, the lead designer was Karl Gustav Hansen, grandson of founder Hans Hansen who established the workshop in 1906. The company truly started to produce original jewelry when Hans Hansen asked his son, who had already won several awards at this point, to design a collection. It was 1932 and the collection was titled “Future”.
Up until this point, the company had primarily focussed on flatware, and with “Future” the workshop garnered a reputation of forward-thinking, modern jewelry. The collection consisted of approximately 50 pieces including rings, brooches and earrings. Remarkably, K.G Hansen was just 18 at the time. His aesthetic is often described as “Functionalist”; marrying form and function to create pieces of jewelry which are sculptural, thoughtfully crafted, and somewhat gender neutral.
In 1953, Hansen hired a fresh out of school designer named Bent Gabrielsen. As K.G Hansen turned his attention towards running the business and focussing on holloware, Gabrielsen took the reigns as lead designer of jewelry for the firm until 1969. By the time he left, he was responsible for the firms entire production of jewelry. Gabrielsen opened his own workshop and also went on to design pieces for Georg Jensen. His beautifully constructed designs perfectly balance striking maxim and with elegant restraint. Gabrielsen worn the prestigious Lunning Prize in 1964.
The fantastic designs above are from the period when Bent Gabrielsen was lead designer and you can certainly see his hand in them. I especially love the very 1960s flower in the sculptural silver ring.