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If there’s one object in my kitchen that will get extra oohs and aahs than anything within the room, it’s my Dansk Købenstyle butter hotter. A small-scale saucepan in a heat shade of plum, it by no means leaves my range besides to get washed. Lest you suppose it serves aesthetic functions alone, let me underline the truth that I take advantage of it each single day—no, a number of instances a day. It’s fairly merely the prettiest little workhorse I’ve owned.

Dansk has been a well-recognized model to me for some time; earlier than I purchased my first piece I would seen pepper mills and trays within the houses of buddies, and fawned over casseroles and silverware in classic shops. The title Købenstyle, nevertheless, was much less acquainted to me. In the event you, like me, first heard the phrase and considered København, you wouldn’t be remiss—these distinctive pots and pans had been designed by Copenhagen-born sculptor and designer Jens Quistgaard.

Again in 1954, Quistgaard’s creative prowess was found by an American couple, Ted and Martha Nierenberg, who had been visiting Copenhagen. The couple satisfied him to design a line of cookware collectively, and Dansk was based that very same yr. Two years later, Købenstyle turned the title that Quistgaard selected for his first cookware collection constructed from enameled metal—vivid, stunning, and sensible.

A educated sculptor, Quistgaard selected to hold his distinctive kind language into the world of business design. “For my father, designed objects needed to be conceived of in three dimensions, similar to sculptures. His work was marked by a definite private contact—in different phrases, the design, whereas produced industrially, was not outlined by a machine however bore the mark of the human hand,” wrote Quistgaard’s daughter Henriette in an e-mail interview earlier this month.

Dansk archivist Christine Muhlke says that it’s a chic simplicity that has ensured the designs’ timelessness. Muhlke has spent the final many months digging via the model’s archives within the course of of choosing designs to be reissued by Food52. “The clear, quietly sculptural traces and the usage of light-weight enameled metal in shades like teal and yellow…Købenstyle is in contrast to any cookware made immediately—or, for that matter, since 1956,” she provides.

Take as an illustration the teakwood deal with on my butter hotter, which clearly bears the mark of a sculptor however can be extraordinarily purposeful—each ergonomic to understand in addition to heat-resistant to the contact. Henriette factors out that wooden was her father’s favourite materials: “As in a lot of his different designs, the thought of the deal with performed on the aesthetic features from combining and contrasting supplies, on this case wooden and metal.” Curiously, it was this affinity for the 2 supplies that first acquired Quistgaard seen by the Nierenbergs, who had come throughout his designs on Fjord, the primary cutlery set to mix metal with teak handles.

An authentic Jens Quistgaard design for the butter hotter

Photograph by Mark Weinberg

One other instance of his brilliance at merging design with purposeful qualities is demonstrated by his use of intricate, sculptural handles—working example: the Købenstyle casseroles. Henriette factors to how the handles are mounted in three locations by way of what was a very progressive kind of level welding (pinpoint welding) that may make them heat-resistant in addition to bypass the necessity for pot holders.

The particular signature of Købenstyle, in fact, is its use of crisp colours. Initially there have been solely 4—turquoise, yellow, orange-red, and darkish blue—which Henriette says her father personally picked for his or her resistance to passing developments. Through the years and throughout a number of relaunches, extra colours have been added.

The actual coup right here nevertheless was Quistgaard’s use of enameled metal—a cloth that wasn’t thought of significantly elegant on the time. Utilizing it for cookware meant the heralding of a brand new period of inexpensively produced however contemporarily designed cookware made for cooking, serving, and, sure, displaying. Probably the greatest issues about proudly owning a Købenstyle piece is that it may be taken from kitchen to eating desk—the lids doing double responsibility as trivets.

An authentic Jens Quistgaard design for the pitcher.

Photograph by Mark Weinberg

For a particular classic Dansk x Food52 drop, Muhlke scoured an array of classic marketplaces to choose the rarest of finds, from buffet servers to pitchers, butter knives, pepper mills, and skillets, all in mouthwatering hues. She factors to a private favourite—a straight-sided pitcher in kumquat, a uncommon shade—and an actual deal with for the one that snags it (apologies to latecomers; higher luck subsequent time).

I needed to ask Henriette if she had a favourite design from among the many authentic designs by her father. “The casseroles, frying pans, roasting pans, and saucepans all serve their very own functions, however by way of design I do discover that the paella pan stands aside due to its stunning kind,” she wrote. “One merchandise I’ve personally been lacking from the gathering, although, is the pitcher, which for many years was obtainable in three sizes. It’s purposeful, stunning, and never too heavy.”

Whereas Købenstyle has endured as one among his nice legacies, throughout his time at Dansk Designs (a interval that lasted till the Eighties), Quistgaard designed 1000’s of merchandise from his studio in Copenhagen, spanning cookware, serveware, and residential furnishings constructed from a spread of supplies. Muhlke speaks enthusiastically about designs just like the Nielstone espresso set (that Quistgaard collaborated with Danish ceramicist Niels Refsgaard—who’s an integral a part of the Dansk story even immediately—on), the Odin knives, and the trays he made within the Sixties from pau rosa, mutenye, and wenge which are a part of the Uncommon Woods Assortment. She provides: “After intently inspecting nearly 100 gadgets, what struck me was how fantastically every part has weathered over the a long time. Seeing how properly made these items are actually provides weight to the time period ‘heritage model.’ They really are heirlooms!”


Do you acquire Dansk Købenstyle—and what’s your favourite piece? Inform us within the feedback!

This text was up to date in March 2022 as a result of we love Købenstyle greater than ever.

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