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BØJEN K AY B OJ E S E N

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A MAN OF MANY TALENTS An introduction to the man behind it all - Kay Bojesen (1886-1958)

KAY BOJESEN - A FAMILY-OWNED COMPANY How Kay Bojesen’s granddaughter came to run a Danish design company bearing the name of her grandfather

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SILVER

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GRAND PRIX

Get a glimpse into the fascinating world of Kay Bojesen’s silver craftmanship

Kay Bojesen aimed at crafting the perfect series of cutlery - and succeeded Learn more about the Grand Prix cutlery

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OUR LOGO - BØJEN Kay had the buoy made as his trademark in 1913 Read the history behind our logo

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CLEAN REFLECTING JEWELLERY Kay Bojesen was a master of simplicity and beauty See and learn more about Kay Bojesen’s amazing jewellery

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT BELLA VISTA About hosting a Sunday Afternoon gathering for some of the most prominent architects and designers Denmark has ever seen

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STEEL PRODUCTS

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SILVER PRODUCTS

Complete overview with item numbers and sizes

Complete overview with item numbers and sizes

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KA BOJE

A MAN OF MA

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AY ESEN

ANY TALENTS

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Kay Bojesen in front of his workshop in Bredgade 47, Copenhagen

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A young Kay (far left) in Georg Jensens workshop

Kay Bojesen was a Danish craftsman, known and loved for his functional, simple, and aesthetic designs. Kay was born into a creative family in 1886. Kay’s father, Ernst Bojesen, was a well-known Danish editor and the founder of Det Nordiske Forlag, a Danish publishing house, which later became known as Gyldendahl.

returned to Copenhagen in 1913, Kay opened his first silversmith workshop. He kept on pushing his craftsmanship forward and experimented with new styles and materials. In the 1920s, Kay became a strong advocate of functionalism and argued that ornamentations and decorations belonged to a bygone era.

I 1907, Kay got an apprenticeship as a silversmith at Georg Jensen’s workshop. Here, Kay learned how to master silver craft, Art Nouveau, and curlicues. When Kay was fully trained in 1910, Georg Jensen wrote that Kay was ”… in possession of a talent which is not bad at all… it is my belief that a young man with his skills is able to take it far”. Kay Bojesen travelled Europe after his apprenticeship. When he 7


Silver entrĂŠe dish on teakwood stand (46 x 4 cm)

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“THERE MUST BE LIFE, BLOOD, AND HEART IN THE THINGS YOU PRODUCE AND YOU MUST LIKE TO HOLD THEM IN YOUR HAND. TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE WARM AND ALIVE” Kay Bojesen

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“GOOD DESIGN IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO” Kay Bojesen

Kay Bojesen was constantly rethinking shapes, materials, and the use of objects, and he mastered multiple materials, among them silver, wood, glass, melamine, tin, steel, and porcelain. During his career, Kay managed to design and put more than 2000 objects into production. This is an impressive 2.6 new designs per week. Kay himself stated that his biggest concern was “… that I have a terrible difficult time keeping my initiative in check”.

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Even though Kay Bojesen created most of his designs in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, his craftsmanship still brings joy to this day. Kay’s ability to think ahead of his time, to welcome new trends, and to stay true to his functionalistic and simple line of thought, has resulted in his craftsmanship becoming iconic symbols of Danish design.


Silver tea caddy (9 x 10 cm)

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KAY BOJESEN A FAMILY-OWNED COMPANY “I’VE ALWAYS HAD A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP TO MY GRANDFATHER’S CRAFTMANSHIP, AND THEREFORE IT SEEMED OBVIOUS TO CARRY FORWARD HIS DESIGN WHEN THE POSSIBILITY PRESENTED ITSELF.”

Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist CEO

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Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist, granddaughter and CEO of Kay Bojesen

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“I’M FASCINATED BY KAY’S ABILITY TO THINK PROSPECTIVELY AND IN NEW WAYS; HE WAS CONSTANTLY A STEP AHEAD OF HIS TIME!”

Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist CEO

Kay Bojesen is a Danish design company founded in 2011 by Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist, granddaughter of Kay Bojesen. Sus has always worked with her grandfather’s design; when she was a young girl, Sus helped out in Kay’s store in Bredgade 47 in Copenhagen. Later on, Sus opened her own store with Kay Bojesen’s designs in Copenhagen and she even tried her hands as a silversmith. For many years, Sus helped her father, Otto Bojesen, with the quality control of Kay Bojesen’s wooden animals. In 2011, Sus decided to relaunch her grandfather’s Grand Prix cutlery and founded Kay Bojesen. 14

Kay Bojesen believed that“Good design is something that everyone is entitled to”. We wish to practice this belief by offering everyone the experience of Kay’s good design. This is why we regularly dive into the Kay Bojesen archives and find inspiration for interior and tableware that hasn’t been in production for many years. We see it as a privilege and an honour to carry forward Kay Bojesen’s design heritage. Therefore, it is important for us to stay true to Kay’s design values and keep rethinking materials, shapes, and the use of objects - just like Kay did.


Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist admiring her grandfather’s figures, 1966 15


KAY BOJESEN SILVER

Silver bowl on teak stand (diameter 16 cm, height 17 cm) Silver potato spoon, large (18,5 cm) 16


Although Kay Bojesen found great joy in experimenting with wood and other materials, he was first and foremost a silversmith

Kay Bojesen was a trained silversmith and spend the first many years of his career on crafting silver. Kay was trained at Georg Jensen’s workshop in a backyard of Bredgade in Copenhagen, where he learned how to master Art Nouveau, curlicues, and ornamentations to perfection. His early silver crafts were hammered and heavily decorated, and the motives were often inspired by nature; flowers and insects decorated with semiprecious stones. After travelling Europe and starting his own workshop, Kay’s eyes were opened for different styles when crafting silver. In the 1920s, Kay became a strong advocate of functionalism and argued that Art Nouveau, ornamentations, and decorations belonged to a bygone era. In functionalism, the clean, simple, and engineer-like expression was honoured. Instead of ornamentation, Kay saw the warm and soft reflections of the silver as decoration in itself.

In the 1930s, Kay Bojesen put his heart and mind into crafting functionalistic silver. He created coffee pots, tea pots, trays, bowls, plates, cups, candleholders, and jewellery, among others. Kay set out to create the perfect functionalistic cutlery and in 1938, he presented the cutlery which became known as Grand Prix. Although Kay Bojesen found great joy in experimenting with wood and other materials, he was first and foremost a silversmith. Silver was his preferred material, as Kay Bojesen believed it was superior to all other materials. Today, Kay Bojesen’s silver craft stands as the flagship of his design and work.

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GRAND PRIX Grand Prix cutlery, polished steel 18


“GRAND PRIX IS AT ONCE A MASTERPIECE OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN, A SINGULAR EXPRESSION OF ARTISTIC VALUES AND AN ENDURING EMBLEM OF MODERN, NORDIC MATERIAL CULTURE.” Michael Sheridan Architect · Author

In the 1930s, Kay Bojesen set out to create the perfect series of functional cutlery. He shaped the cutlery to work and perform, to hold and to last. Kay didn’t want the cutlery to be driven by fashion; rather it should stand out as aesthetic utensils. This resulted in the Grand Prix cutlery.

World War, Kay saw the industrialisation as an opportunity to produce his cutlery in steel. This made Kay’s design available to more people, which was in line with his belief that ‘Good design is something that everyone is entitled to’. The Grand Prix cutlery was introduced in matte stainless steel in 1953.

The Grand Prix cutlery has the perfect balance – not too heavy and not too light. Every piece is shaped according to its function and related by gentle, harmonious forms that reflect Kay’s sensitivity to both contour and comfort. The simple but aesthetic look makes sure that the cutlery never steals the show at a table setting.

Since then, the Grand Prix cutlery has been honoured as the national cutlery of Denmark, it is permanent interior at Danish Embassy residences around the world, and prominent architects and restaurants praise the Grand Prix cutlery for its simplicity and function.

Kay Bojesen won the first prize for his cutlery at the IX Triennale di Milano in 1951. For that reason he named the cutlery after the prize: Grand Prix.

The Grand Prix cutlery was introduced in polished stainless steel in 2011. Today, the Grand Prix cutlery is available in 29 pieces in both matte and polished steel, and 56 pieces in silver.

Kay Bojesen had the ability to think ahead of his time and welcome new trends and materials. Until the 1950s, the Grand Prix cutlery had only been available in silver, which was seen as a costly investment. But after the Second 19


GRAND PRIX FORK

The dinner fork has a gently curving handle, held between the fore and index finger and steadied by the thumb. The dinner fork has four tines, which are quite deep, to enhance spearing and holding, and separated by subtle scallops that are particularly useful when sauce is part of the meal. The outermost tines are slightly wider, to protect against bending, and Kay Bojesen squared all four points in order to prevent injury to mouth or plate.

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GRAND PRIX KNIFE

Kay Bojesen’s dinner knife is a marvel of subtle transitions that varies in both thickness and width along its length, as it reconciles the opposing demands of grasping and cutting. The end of the handle is curved to provide comfort when pressed into the palm and the handle swells as it continues towards the blade, for greater rigidity. As the handle thickens, the width decreases and flows into shallow notches that provide resting points for the thumb and forefinger, for safety and leverage. At the transition to the blade, the thickness of the steel is quickly reduced by the gentle curves that are radiused into the sides of the handle and the top edge tapers towards the rounded end. Kay Bojesen’s dinner knife is shorter than most dinner knives, to increase rigidity, and it is curved so that more of the cutting edge comes into contact with the food.

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Kay Bojesen’s original drawings of the Grand Prix serving spoon

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GRAND PRIX SPOON

The gentle, oval bowl of the dinner spoon is deep enough for broths and soups, and the sturdy form of the spoon is nearly anonymous except for the carefully calculated angle of the handle, the apparently inevitable curvature of handle into bowl, and a single, exquisite detail that betrays Kay Bojesen’s masterful intersection of aesthetics and utility. Rather than round the edge of the bowl, where it meets the mouth, Kay Bojesen created a flat, ground surface that exploits the natural phenomenon of surface tension in liquids, creates a convex meniscus and inhibits dripping.

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OUR LOGO BØJEN (THE BOUY)

In 1913, Kay Bojesen opened his first silversmith workshop and had the buoy made as his trademark. The buoy depicts a buoy floating on two waves. It refers to Kay Bojesen’s last name, which in Danish resembles the word ‘Bøje’, meaning buoy. The buoy was originally floating on three waves, but this was changed after negotiations with Royal Copenhagen as they had the legal right of three waves in their logo. Kay Bojesen was so fond of the buoy that it was casted above the door at his workshop in Nybrogade 14 in Copenhagen. The city has changed much since Kay’s time, but the buoy is still to be seen above the door at Nybrogade 14, as a symbol of Kay Bojesen’s time in the building.

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“Bøjen” above the door at Nybrogade 14 in Copenhagen

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CLEAN REFLECTING JEWELLERY

Kay Bojesen was a trained silversmith. He was fascinated by silver and its clean, simple, and warm reflections. Kay’s silver craft often has a touch of engineering; functional, calculated, and detail oriented. Kay Bojesen’s jewellery is characterised by this line of though; he didn’t focus on decoration and ornamentations, but instead he let the silver stand out as decoration in itself. Simple and beautiful. Although Kay Bojesen’s silver jewellery was designed in the 1930’s, his simple and aesthetic style has made Kay’s jewellery into timeless design pieces. Kay Bojesen jewellery is handmade in Denmark.

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Hair Slide Big 8 cm

Hair Slide Medium 5 cm

Hair Slide Small 2,5 cm

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BY APPOINTMENT TO THE ROYAL DANISH COURT

K AY B OJ E S E N

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Erna and Kay Bojesen

SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT BELLA VISTA

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From 1934, Kay and his wife Erna Bojesen lived in Arne Jacobsen’s Bella Vista apartments north of Copenhagen. Every Sunday, prominent Danish architects and craftsmen like Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, and Hans J. Wegner were frequent guests at the Bojesen’s, where Kay and Erna opened up their doors for afternoon coffee and cake. 45


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K AY BOJ E S E N GRAND PRIX

ST E E L Matte & Polished

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Dinner Knife 504 / 504p 19,5 cm

Dinner Spoon 501 / 501p 19,5 cm Dinner Fork 502 / 502p 19 cm

Lunch Knife 509 / 509p 18 cm

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Lunch Fork 506 / 506p 17 cm

Dessert Spoon Large 505 / 505p 17 cm


Dessert Spoon Small 516 / 516p 15 cm

Cake / Salad Fork 508 / 508p 15 cm

Cake Server 529 / 529p 22,5 cm

Coffee Spoon 518 / 518p 11,9 cm

Tea Spoon 517 / 517p 13 cm

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Salt Spoon 527 / 527p 6,9 cm

Child’s Spoon with Handle 554 / 554p 9 cm

Child’s Pusher 553 / 553p 9,5 cm

Child’s Spoon Fork 552 / 552p 15,5 cm

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Jam / Dessert Spoon 530 / 530p 13,5 cm


Serving Fork 521 / 521p 23,5 cm

Serving Spoon 520 / 520p 23,5 cm

Child’s Spoon 551 / 551p 15 cm

Ice / Latte Spoon 526 / 526p 18 cm

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Serving Spoon Small 522 / 522p 18,5 cm

Oyster Fork 515 / 515p 11,5 cm

Serving Fork Small 523 / 523p 18,5 cm

Gravy Spoon 533 / 533p 18,5 cm

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Lobster Fork 514 / 514p 17 cm


Fish Fork 512 / 512p 17 cm

Fish Knife 513 / 513p 19 cm

Bouillon / Dressing Spoon 511 / 511p 15,5 cm

Meat Fork 519 / 519p 22,5 cm

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K AY BOJ E S E N GRAND PRIX

S I LV E R

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Royal Guard 12 cm

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Dinner Spoon 19,5 cm

Lunch Knife 18 cm

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Dinner Fork 19 cm

Lunch Fork 17 cm

Dinner Knife 19,5 cm

Dessert Spoon Large 17 cm


Napkin Ring 6 x 2 cm

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Gravy Spoon 18,5 cm

Cake Server 22,5 cm

Sandwich Server 17,5 cm

Asparagus Fork 20,8 cm

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Dessert Spoon Small 15 cm

Serving Spoon 15 cm

Gravy Spoon 18,5 cm

Mocca Spoon 11 cm

Coffee Spoon 11,9 cm

Tea Spoon 13 cm

Latte Spoon 18 cm

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Grapefruit Spoon 18,5 cm

Butter Knife 13,5 cm

Oyster Fork 11,5 cm

Cream Spoon 12,9 cm

Cake Fork 13 cm

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Honey Spoon 13,8 cm

Honey Spoon 18,2 cm


Fish Fork 17 cm

Fish Knife 19 cm

Fork 14,7 cm

Fork 18,2 cm

Meat Fork 22,7 cm

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Serving Spoon 23,5 cm

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Serving Fork 23,5 cm


Serving Bowl with Spoon on Teak Stand

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Letter Opener 20,8 cm

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Trident 15 cm

Two-pronged Fork 14 cm

Drink Mixer 15,5 cm

Marrow Fork 17,5 cm

Lobster Fork 17 cm

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Cup with Handle 6,8 x 7 cm

Child’s Plate 16,5 cm

Child’s Fork 15,8 cm

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Child’s Pusher 9,5 cm

Child’s Spoon with Handle 9 cm

Child’s Spoon 15 cm


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Wristband

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Broche with Heart 3,8 cm

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Hair Slide Big 8 cm

Hair Slide Medium 5 cm

Hair Slide Small 2,5 cm

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Whiskey Cup 6,5 cm

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Kay Bojesen / BØJEN / AW 16  

Bøjen Magazine is news, stories, and products from Kay Bojesen.

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