Hans Christensen Modern Sterling Silver Presentation Compote, Rochester, New York, c. 1976
Hans Jorgen Thorvald Christensen was one of the great and accomplished modern silversmiths. This stunning presentation bow is beautifully designed with great imagination. The surface sparkles with brilliant hammering reflecting its surroundings.
The oval bowl has is gracefully curved and has an upper edge turned outwards. the front is engraved with the following inscription:
ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
SCHOOL FOR AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN
IN APPRECIATION OF
THE CHARLOTTE FREDERICKS MOWRIS
PROFESSORSHIP IN CONTEMPORARY CRAFTS
FIRST CONFERRED ON HANS CHRISTENSEN
The base is a striking visual contrast to the hammered bowl which relies on its form and textured surface for its beauty. The base is that of a tree trunk. It is textured with various vertical striations giving the wonderful appearance of tree bark.
The appliques are figures representing the various crafts. Here they are seen creating pottery, furniture, metal wares, etc. Even one figure is working at an anvil.
Hans Christensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1924 and at age 15 apprenticed at the famous firm of Jensen during the day and attended academic classes at night. At the age of 20 he was awarded two prizes, one for design and one for execution of a teapot and warmer. He was awarded his silversmiths certificate in 1944. Christensen became lead silversmith of the prototype shop at Jensen in 1952. This department 'transformed into actual three dimensional objects by the highest skill level silversmiths at the Jensen Works'.
In 1954, Christensen accepted a teaching position at the School of American Craftsmen in Rochester, New York. During his teaching profession instructing students in the art of design and silversmithing, Christensen continued to create his style of silver. His first private commission in 1956 was to create a trophy for the North American Figure Skating Association. It was so well received he continued to make smaller copies for the Association for the next 25 years.
Other notable achievements are the Eastman Kodak Company bowl, two objects in the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Art, the first acquisition representing contemporary design at the Garvan Collection at Yale University etc. 'His work is in the permanent collections of individuals, institutions, presidents, and royal families of England, Denmark, Norway, Iran, and Sweden'.(1)
This rare work of art is marked underneath "HC' below a silversmith's hammer along with 'STERLING/ HANDMADE'. It measures 7.75 inches wide by 6.5 inches high, weighs 22.55 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.
"The Life, Times and Work of Hans Jorgen Thorvald Christensen" by Thomas M. Sandretto, (http://gold-silver-casting.com/HansChristensen-Life-Times-Work.htm), last accessed 6/9/2016.