A Royal Design
Sigvard Bernadotte, a son of the crown prince of Sweden, was the first non-Danish designer to be hired at Georg Jensen. He had nearly no experience designing actual wares but had studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Stockholm. He was brought on in 1930 to invigorate the Jensen brand — as well as for the networking opportunities of having a member of a royal family on staff.
Bernadotte quickly proved his talents as a designer, creating pieces that were a departure for Jensen and drew from Swedish design motifs — his designs were streamlined and geometric, with little decoration, and employed highly polished surfaces, as opposed to the hand-hammered finish Jensen was known for.
His designs ushered in an era of Functionalism and were also key in helping Jensen reach the American market, who admired the elegance and restrained sophistication of Bernadotte's designs. This silverware design, as well as other works of his, were featured at the Georg Jensen booth at the New York World's Fair in 1939. In this era of his career, he was creating less severe designs than in the early 1930s, as noted by the decorative ribbing and fluid forms.
The first years of silver designing were a struggle with the material. An evolution away from the drawing board sketches, away from plans made with the compass and the T-square, and towards a more sculptural form.