The Royal Danish porcelain factory Royal Copenhagen, which was founded in 1775, maintains the traditions of the past and still produces traditional hand-painted art porcelain. One of the traditions of the factory, which began in 1895, is the production of traditional Christmas plates Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndah. The plot of each plate is related to Danish history and culture.
The idea for themed plates arose at the 1888 Nordic Exhibition of Industry, Agriculture and the Arts in Copenhagen. The huge event attracted 1.3 million guests in a country with a population of just 2 million people. The Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactory created the first series of themed plates as part of its exhibition at the fair. Among the guests of the exhibition were members of the royal family. Crown Princess Louise of Denmark purchased one of them as a souvenir of this grand event. Other visitors followed suit with such enthusiasm that the plant was forced to produce additional plates. Just like that, the perfect collectible was created that could be used to celebrate special occasions. In subsequent years, the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory began creating plates to commemorate various milestones in the life of the royal family.
In 1895 Hallin went to work for Bing & Grøndahl. Factory owner Harald Bing came up with the idea of using the relief technique to create collectible plates for the Christmas holidays. Thus, Bing & Grøndahl became the first to produce the annual Christmas plate exactly as we know it today. In 1908, Royal Copenhagen followed suit and produced its first annual plate using the Hallin relief technique. Both porcelain factories were merged in 1987, and since then two Christmas plates from each series have been produced every year, decorated in the traditional blue and white color scheme.
Royal Copenhagen’s 2004 annual plate is called “Christmas in the Country” and depicts a charming little scene where the geese have heard the farmer in the barn and are now eagerly awaiting their feed.