Knud Kyhn

The Danish "Royal Copenhagen" is nowadays famous for it's manufacturing of high quality porcelain figurines. Before 1900 this was different, when Royal Copenhagen didn't produce figurines, but was known over the whole world for it's costly service "Flora Danica". Around the turn of the century Royal copenhagen decided to try and compete in the market of figurines and therefore took on some artists for this job. The immediate succes was due to the high quality and the unique colouring. Many since then have tried to imitate the Royal copenhagen coloration, with very different results: from very good to somewhat disreputable (The German Rosenthal and the Spanish Lladro are examples of succeeders). One of the most productive and talented artists of Royal Copenhagen, without a doubt, Knud Kyhn. This unique sculptor learned his trade from professor Tuxen at the "Artistic Study School" and in the atelier of Karl Schroder in Lillerød. In 1903 he joined Royal Copenhagen. The carreer of Knud Kyhn can be divided in four episodes.

He first started there (1903 - 1910) as a painter of objects, that were designed by other artists then himself. In this first periode he designed very few models exclusive from himself, but the rare "faun on bear" was one of them. The faun with blue eyes sits reverse on the bear and wants to hit it on the it's buttock, while the bear doesn't seem to know what to do with the situation. A unique masterpiece with rather thick glaze put on it.




Knud Kyhn, model 976,
Royal Copenhagen, 1908

One can recognize the year of a object by the blue wave mark and the model and painter by the numbers. Most of the objects are signed by the artist as well. In the second period (1924 - 1932) Knud Kyhn designed the models, which made him famous. His love went out to designing animal figurines, with the bear on the topspot. He modelled this animal in every thinkable way, from angry to shy, friendly to aggresive, standing to lying on the back, playing with cub to fighting with rival, Snowbear to braun bear, using fine porcelain or robust grès pottery. Kyhn used the porcelain in the wellknown Royal Copenhagen gamma, but also pottery in a flaming tan with a polished surface, which feels surprisingly soft.




Knud Kyhn,
Royal Copenhagen, 1928

By the way it was Knud Kyhn who introduced the grès to Royal Copenhagen. A funny fact is that in some of his bears he put an art of footprint in the back, just as if giving it a animal signiture. very memorable are his fauns. A collectors item of the first degree. One of his most expressive pieces is a young faun fighting with a rooster, a true masterpiece.




Knud Kyhn,
Royal Copehagen, 1937

Knud Kyhnmademany other animals, from mammoths to housepets. In his third (1936 - 1943) and his fourth period (1948 - 1967) he followed his trend from his second period. His collection consist of small fine and large complex objects all made in a very recognizeble manner. Most of his objects he signed with two K's standing on eachother. Knud Kyhn also worked for a short while with "Bing & Grøndahl" (1908 - 1915 en 1933 - 1935), where he disigned simular objects.

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