Dear Old Man:

Several years ago, my friend and I went to Hot Springs, Ark., to see the sights and unwind. While there we attended several of the auctions. Many of the items were very expensive, but we were able to purchase several items rather reasonably. I think we spent less than $300 for everything. One of the items I purchased was supposed to be a George Jensen cocktail set. Is this authentic and what is it worth today? OP

Dear OP:

Born in 1866, Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad, north of Copenhagen. His apprenticeship with the firm Guldsmed Andersen, a goldsmith, ended in 1884, and this freed young George to follow his artistic interests.

stuff oct 2019

George Jensen circa 1926. Cocktail set in original case containing 7 items: a knife, olive fork, ice tongs, spoon, bottle opener, can opener and cork screw.

From childhood, Jensen had longed to be a sculptor and he pursued this course of study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1892 and began exhibiting his work.

In 1901 he abandoned ceramics and began again as a silversmith and designer with the master, Mogens Ballin. In 1904, he risked what small capital he had and opened his own silver smithy at 36 Bredgade in Copenhagen.

Jensen’s training in metalsmithing, along with his education in the fine arts, allowed him to combine the two disciplines and revive the tradition of the artist craftsman. Jensen opened retail outlets in New York, London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin. Jensen died 1935.

Your cocktail set is most unusual, in that it is in “presentation” format and complete. Made in the 1920s and of sterling silver, the retail value is $1,250 to $1,500.

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