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​The Greatest Auction Ever of Quistgaard’s Design

Press Release   •   May 02, 2016 09:50 GMT

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers offer the greatest selection ever of timeless design classics from the 1950-60s by the Danish designer Jens Harald Quistgaard. The auction is held on Tuesday 10 May.

”Among the highlights is a unique coffee table with Öland stone top, which was produced by Nissen, Langaa around 1965, and a rare set of forged metal and brass fire tools, stamped "Dansk Designs Denmark, IHQ" and presumably made by Lange & Co during the 1960s. The auction also includes ten pepper mills in different types of wood such as teak, pao rosa and wenge, which were produced by Nissen, Langaa and Kronjyden” says Esben Skov Jensen from Bruun Rasmussen’s department in Aarhus, where the Quistgaard auction is held.

An Overlooked Success Story

Compared to his contemporaries, such as Hans J. Wegner, Finn Juhl and Arne Jacobsen, Quistgaard has had a more modest place in the history of Danish design. Nevertheless, he was one of the most internationally recognized Danish designers during the 1950s and 1960s. His furniture and crafts found their way into many homes in Europe, the United States, Russia and Japan, and he is today represented in museums worldwide. Yet, many still do not know him by name, while many of his products are present in most kitchens - such as the classic can opener shaped like a shark fin.

Functionalism and Craftsmanship

Quistgaard's focus followed the contemporary functionalist idiom, and one of his characteristic statements was: "The usefulness of a product must never be disregarded. It must never be minimized in favour of style." The starting point for Quistgaard was at the same time a respect for traditional craftsmanship and the use of nature’s materials. The result was a brilliant series of beautiful trays, bowls, jugs, chairs, cutlery, stools and much, much more.

In the late 1950s, the American manufacturer Ted Nierenberg Copenhagen, and he became acquainted with Quistgaard's kitchen design. The meeting led to a career as chief designer at the company Danish Designs, which have produced many classics marked with Quistgaard's initials "JHQ".

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are auctioned off each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.