Four Ambiguous, Danish Modern Maker’s Marks Explained
We spend a lot of our time trying to verify the furniture that we acquire.
Suffice it to say that's not always an easy task.
This is never more true than when a piece isn’t stamped.
However, there are also times when a maker’s mark is so vague that finding one at the bottom of a chair, sofa, table or chest of drawers doesn’t make life easier.
To save you time when you are performing a similar task, we explain the meaning behind some ambiguous labels and logos so you can work out what you’re looking at sooner.
Full Name: France & Daverkosen
Insight: This one is perhaps trickier for a novice to identify than it should be as the company changed its name in 1957 to the better-known France & Søn.
To confuse things further, France & Søn was acquired in the mid 1960’s and became CADO. But more on that in another post.
Regardless of whether a piece is stamped France & Søn or France & Daverkosen, one thing is clear: this furniture is of the highest quality (despite much of it being mass produced) and is usually highly sought after.
Associated Designers: There are lots of really, big names associated with France & Søn. Among them are Arne Vodder, Finn Juhl, Ole Wanscher and Grete Jalk, who, if you don’t know, could all be considered Danish Modern heavyweights.
Value: If the piece is in good condition, it’s likely to fetch a high price, which is good news for sellers at least.
If you’re on the opposite end of a trade, can see the stamp and the piece is affordable, it’s almost certainly worth a punt.
Full Name: Poul Jeppesen Møbelfabrik
Insight: Although less revered than some of its counterparts, PJ Furniture enjoyed its share of success in the 50’s and 60’s.
Like France and Søn, PJ Furniture is always made to exacting standards. However, unlike France and Søn, PJ placed less emphasis on mass production.
This can be good news if you’re selling, but it’s nothing that buyers will enjoy hearing.
Associated Designers: Grete Jalk, Hans Olsen and Ole Wanscher, who was actually PJ’s head of design from the 1950’s.
Value: The more complex designs for which the brand is famous were, for obvious reasons, much harder to make on a large scale.
As such, these originals, though hard to find, can fetch a high price.
For everything else, we recommend buying a piece because you like it and selling it because you need space. The real value here is in the design and build quality.
Full Name: Feldballes Møbelfabrik
Insight: This one is a veritable minefield. It is so complicated, in fact, that we are almost reluctant to even discuss it.
If you search for the history behind the FM logo, you are going to find two ‘companies’ associated with it. One is Feldballes, the other is Fornem Møbelkunst. Dig deeper and you’ll see the same logo attributed to both names.
Not a good start, right?
However, it appears that Fornem Møbelkunst (which loosely translates to “beautiful furniture”) is in fact a strapline for Feldballes marketing campaigns.
By accident or design, it has the same initials as the company and this is where the confusion sets in.
It’s actually quite common to see the two ‘companies’ listed in the same sentence; the information out there is so sketchy, that some of the biggest players in the seconds market seem spun out by it as well.
We’re sticking to our guns here though and saying that if you see the logo you’re looking at Feldballes.
Associated Designers: There is one standout name here and that is the legendary Kai Kristiansen, who produced a string of successful designs for the company during the 50’s and 60’s.
Value: Kai Kristiansen pieces can fetch a high price. This is in part because his designs were so intricate that they were almost impossible to mass produce. Simply put, this makes them harder to acquire, which is always good for a seller.
It is also worth noting that, correct at time of writing, Kai Kristiansen is one of the last surviving designers of Danish Modern’s golden age. A designer’s stock tends to rise posthumously. Not a nice thought but buyer’s might want to bear that in mind.
Full Name: Juul Kristensen
Insight: This is another tricky one as some ‘sources’ seem keen to attribute this logo to Jacob Kjaer. This may have something to do with the fact that a Kjaer piece would likely fetch a higher sum than a Kristensen.
There is not a great deal out there about Juul Kristensen. We have been able to acquire a few pieces along the way and can confirm, if nothing else, that they are very well put together.
Associated Designers: The biggest name here is undoubtedly Hans Olsen. Together they created some really great seating.
Value: Again, this is dependent on condition but we wouldn’t recommend buying to sell. You might get lucky but the fact remains there are other, more desirable makers on the seconds market.
However, as we said, the build quality is likely to be high so we can recommend buying to keep. You’re very unlikely to regret your purchase.
If all this talk of Danish Modern furniture has whet your appetite, head over to our collection to see what's available.