Large Jens Quistgaard Variations V stainless steel cutlery set, a rare 80-piece collection by Dansk Designs, perfect for vintage enthusiasts, for sale at Art & Utility.
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Mid-century modern Variations V cutlery set by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk, a complete collection with a Nordic touch from 1955, for sale at Art & Utility.
Vintage Dansk Variations V flatware set from 1955, designed by Jens Quistgaard, a rare and collectible piece of Danish design history.
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Collectible Scandinavian Variations V cutlery set by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk Designs, an 80-piece service for 8 people, for sale at Art & Utility.
80-piece service for 8 Dansk Variations V cutlery set by Jens Quistgaard, a rare and large collection of Scandinavian design.
Jens Quistgaard Dansk Designs complete cutlery set Variations V, an 80-piece collection with Nordic charm and mid-century modern style.
Nordic design Variations V cutlery set by Quistgaard, an 80-piece vintage collection for those who appreciate Scandinavian aesthetics, available at Art & Utility.
Variations V cutlery collection by Dansk Designs, an 80-piece set by Jens Quistgaard featuring rare and collectible mid-century modern design.
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Reverse side of Dansk cutlery showing makers mark. Collectible Danish Designs Variations V flatware by Jens Quistgaard, an 80-piece set from Dansk with mid-century modern and Scandinavian appeal, for sale at Art & Utility.
Jens Quistgaard 80-piece large cutlery set Variations V for Dansk Designs, a rare collection with Nordic charm and vintage elegance.
Vintage Nordic cutlery set by Jens Quistgaard, the 80-piece Variations V collection from Dansk Designs, perfect for collectors of Danish design, for sale at Art & Utility.
Dansk Designs

Jens Quistgaard Eighty-Piece 'Variations V' Cutlery Set

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An 80 piece set of forged ‘Variations V’ cutlery in stainless steel, designed by Jens Quistgaard, for Dansk in 1955.

A 9-piece service for 8 people, consisting of; 8x Dinner Forks, 8x Dinner Knives, 8x Soup Spoons, 8x Salad Forks, 8x Butter Spreaders, 8x Teaspoons, 8x Cocktail Fork, 8x Long Handled Forks, 8x Demitasse Spoons, 1x Carving Set, 1x Sauce Ladle, 1x Serving Fork, and 4x Serving Spoons.

Despite Jens Quistgaard, the designer behind Dansk Designs’ approximate 4,000 objects, being Danish, the company he worked with, for 30 years, was actually American. 

It all began in the summer of 1954 when, on their travels through Europe looking for designs to introduce to the US market, American businesspeople Ted & Martha Nierenberg encountered ‘Fjord’ and 9 other designs. This was at the Kunstindustrimuseet (the Danish Design Museum) which then gave visitors the opportunity to browse through a large index of contemporary Danish design. 

The Nierenberg’s initially chose ten designs from this index, without having any knowledge of who designed the individual pieces. Once the full details were handed to them, it transpired that 9 out of the 10 designs were by Jens Harald Quistgaard.[1] Of course, the Nierenberg’s felt compelled to demand an immediate meeting with Quistgaard. 
Once in a room together, they succeeded in convincing Quistgaard into partnership with them, and Dansk was born!

Rather than ‘Fjord’ being the first flatware launched by Dansk, ‘Fjord’ launched Dansk. In the next year, 1955, soon to follow were Variations IV, V, and VI. All these cutlery designs were in the first instance modelled in wood, ‘carved and curved by the knowing hands of Jens Quistgaard’. Subsequently, ‘Variations V’ was not produced in metal by mass production methods but by hand.

As a “swish” Dansk advert so eloquently put it in the 1960’s ‘no stamping-press can make such subtle curves and hollows, such sure transitions from thick to thin and back, each in its proper place and proportion.’ 

The same ad features a fabulous visual analysis, inviting admirers of design to ‘Look closely at a Dansk spoon. Turn it over. View it from the side. Sight down the stem. You'll see how, like all good sculpture, it is always in visual balance from any viewpoint. As it is in physical balance in your hand.
And your hand, as well as your eye, must judge these pieces. Not for balance alone but for finish. Each Dansk piece is hand-ground. Hand-rubbed. In more than 100 small, sure operations. This is the only way to achieve the famed Dansk low-lustre patina. Time and use can only improve it.’

[1] The collection record of 'Variations V' in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Model Name: ‘Variations V’

Designer: Jens Harald Quistgaard

Manufacturer: Dansk Designs

Year of Design: 1955

Dates Produced: From c.1955, possibly until the 1970s.

Colour: Silver

Carving Knife (Largest Piece) Height: 32 cm, Width: 3 cm, Depth: 1 cm

Cocktail Fork (Smallest Piece) Height: 11.5 cm, Width: 2 cm, Depth: 1 cm

Condition: Very Good. Age related wear consistent with age related use.

Branding: Ladle, Cocktail Forks & Long Handled Forks all stamped ‘Dansk Designs Denmark IHQ’. All other items marked ‘Dansk Designs Finland IHQ’ All knives feature Quistgaard's four ducks logo.