Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quistgaard, Dansk and his love of Teak

An early photo of Jens, His Dansk designed logo burnt into the bottom of a bowl
Some more silo's of his desk, stool, grinder, ice bucket, cheese board, salad bowl and servers and a tray

His Iconic desk and stool

Some examples of his flatware

The iconic Congo Icebucket, Left: An early advertisement from the 1950's

Another example of an ice bucket and trash paper bin

His very collectable salt and paper mills

Some of Jen's designs in Teak including buffet, salad bowl, trays and side folding table

Jens Quistgaard (1919-2008) has been mentioned many times here before on my blog, His work was so prolific it is hard to just contain it all to one post. Jens was a master of Danish Design but also had a huge presence here in the USA, where he helped form the company Dansk International Designs in the 1950’s. Naturally talented as a child even, carving toys from scrap wood, Quistgaard went on to work as an apprentice at Georg Jensen before starting Dansk after he met American entrepreneur Ted Nierenberg after Ted saw some of Jen’s designs in Denmark.

On my blog I have concentrated heavily on his amazing enamel designs, this post is all about his Teak products, which he is probably, is best known for probably after his pots.

Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Burma. Teak is a large, deciduous tree that is dominant in mixed hardwood forests. It has small, fragrant white flowers and papery leaves that are often hairy on the lower surface. Teak's high oil content, strong tensile strength and tight grain makes it a great material to work with.

Jen’s applied it to many silhouettes; His most famous in Teak is probably his Congo Ice Bucket inspired by a Viking ship, which have become very collectable. He also worked with may designs for trays and salad bowls, Quistgaard’s salad bowls infact were often made from separate staves of teak arranged in a circle, much as barrels are built. This used less wood than turning the bowls on a lathe and gave them striking radial lines in the process. He also designed in the material very sought after Dansk salt and pepper mills that have become iconic in their designs. Stainless steel was combined with teak to create elegant flatware that was an affordable alternative to sterling silver. His furniture designs in Teak are just so elegant and understated.
His designs have been put into the collections of and displayed at museums included the Louvre in Paris and at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. By 1982, he had created more than 2,000 different designs of dinnerware, glassware and items for the home. Quistgaard's legacy runs deep within the design world. In a historical context, he is now known as Denmark's first industrial designer.


  1. I love it all, thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, what a nice way to work with Teak. Teak has the best properties when I look at the choice which sort of wood to use in my opinion. These examples are really amazing!