Johan Rohde (1856-1935), originally a painter, was the first designer to collaborate with Georg Jensen. In 1906, Rohde approached the silversmithy to produce a coffee set which he had designed himself for his new home. The collaboration proved an enormous success with many of Rohde’s bowls, candelabras and coffee & tea services defining an era of classic silver hollowware design.
Before becoming a designer for the studio, Johan Rohde was impressed by the craftsmanship of Georg Jensen. Their first collaboration dates from 1904, when Rohde commissioned Georg Jensen to make some objects for his own personal use. This collaboration was a great success for both sides. Rohde was impressed with Jensen’s talent and Jensen was impressed with Rohde’s own skilled eye for design. Based on their initial cooperation, Jensen asked Rohde if he would design subsequent products for Georg Jensen. Rohde became one of the brand’s earliest artist’s to lend their unique vision to the studio.
Johan Rohde designed serene, elegant products for the silver smithy, beginning in 1906. Rohde’s designs have much with in common with the designs of Georg Jensen himself–his pieces bear the same characteristic hammer marks and use the same oxidization technique.
Rohde’s designs, however, are much more highly stylized than Georg Jensen’s more natural Art Nouveau style. On the other hand, Johan Rohde’s design is not strictly Art Déco either–his designs are not purely geometric. Therefore, Rhode’s work falls somewhere between the two: a unique amalgam of Art Nouveau and Art Déco.
Rohde’s original works are symbols of a remarkable era in design, and represent the richness of the Georg Jensen legacy
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