Lectures & Literary past

Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl Ceramics — Through the Eyes of a Collector With Dr. Elliot Todd

L-R: Royal Copenhagen abstract vase by Torben Ebbesen c. 1995; Royal Copenhagen ice dome, c. 1790-1800; Royal Copenhagen urn presented by the Royal Danish Consul in Bangkok, Siam to David King Mason, c. 1861-1862;  Bing & Grøndahl Art Nouveau tulip vase by Elisabeth Drewes c.1899-1900  

Saturday—October 29—1 PM, free
*In-person; RSVP required*

Founded in 1775, Royal Copenhagen remains one the oldest porcelain manufacturers still in operation today. Throughout its long history, the factory has experienced numerous highs from the major World’s Fairs and lows from multiple wars and has weathered more than 130 years of competition from the Bing & Grøndahl Porcelain Factory. After 1882, the two factories were located less than a mile apart, with their flagship stores remaining next-door neighbors until their eventual merger in 1987.

In today’s lecture, Dr. Elliot Todd, a second-generation collector of Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl porcelain, stoneware and faience, will review the history and wide array of works produced by both firms from their inception to their eventual merger, along with their many technical and artistic successes.

Topics covered will include the time-honored blue mussel pattern along with other 18th-century pieces; production during Denmark’s 19th-century “Golden Age”; unique and production underglaze works from the Art Nouveau period, which revolutionized porcelain production throughout Europe; crystalline, craquelé, overglaze, and contemporary porcelain; as well as stoneware and art faience.

This program will take place in-person at Scandinavia House. RSVP is required; please register at the link above.

About Elliot Todd

Dr. Elliot Todd‘s father Frederick (1920-2001) purchased his first piece of Danish porcelain in 1947 — a Royal Copenhagen figurine, chosen as a wedding gift for a friend. Born in 1957 into a home filled with Danish porcelain, Elliot soon became fascinated with his father’s collection, and spent many hours perusing the numerous books and magazines that he had acquired over the years, most of which were in Danish. His father would often share stories about where he found this or that piece as well as the proverbial “one that got away.”

His father’s passion eventually became contagious, and Elliot now has actively sought pieces over the last 40 years to further expand and round out this two-generation collection of porcelain, stoneware, and faience, all of which has been exhaustively researched and documented though the factory’s archives in Denmark. Professionally, Elliot recently retired as Professor Emeritus from a leading American university where he was an internationally recognized researcher and educator.