Hans Hansen (1884-1940) opened a goldsmith shop and smithy in Kolding, Denmark about 1906. Kolding was already well known for its silver and in particular for the well known Goldsmith Holger Kyster and the silverware he produced designed by famous silversmiths Th. Bindesboll, Joakim Skovgaard and Svend Hammerhoj.
By the 1920s Hansen was producing his own line based on his and H.F. Gross' designs. Initially the company produced flatware. Once that was successful they started with jewelry. The first pieces were designed by Hansen himself around 1931 but production of jewelry really began in 1932 with a collection designed by Hansen's son Karl Gustav Hansen.
Karl Gustav Hansen was born in Kolding on December 10, 1914. The younger Hansen showed an early aptitude for his craft and left school at 16 to become an apprentice to Einar Olsen a hollowware smith. In 1934, KGH presented his test piece, a teapot on a chafing dish and received the silver medal, the highest distinction in the Danish appprenticeship system. Shortly afterwards he enrolled at the School of Sculpture at the Art Academy but continued to work with silver.
After travelling in Europe KGH opened up a workshop with his father in Copenhagen where passers-by could watch KGH and three other craftsmen at work through a large window. KGH had his first larger exhibition of works in Copenhagen in May 1940.
The next month, his father died at only 56 years old. KGH was 25 and he took over the Hans Hansen Silversmithy. This collection was called "Future" and comprised about 50 pieces, including brooches, rings, clasps, earrings, etc. Other designers such as Bent Gabrielsen Pedersen and Bent Knudsen also worked for Hansen and by the 1980s Allan Scharff was the leading designer. In 1992 the firm joined with the Georg Jensen company.
Click HERE to read about Kolding City Archives Karl Gustav Hansen
Click HERE to read about Karl Gustav Hansen
Click HERE to read about Hans Hansen's influence on Danish Jewelry
Click HERE to read about Hans Hansen's influence on Danish Silver