Bjorn Wiinblad

I discovered Danish designer Bjorn Wiinblad in college and was immediately drawn to his figures and porcelain objects. He was born in Copenhagen in 1918 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. I started collecting his Rosenthal Studio Line pieces shortly thereafter and then his noire series. He was an incredibly versatile artist, beginning his career as a painter and illustrator but expanding into glass, poster design, set design, textiles and even furniture design. Here, I’ve focused on the extraordinary porcelain pieces that he created for Rosenthal’s Studio Line and the dinnerware they still produce today.

Bjorn Wiinblad in his studio

Wiinblad’s studio

Rosenthal Studio Line “Magic Flute” Sarastro candlesticks and lidded bowls

Magic Flute Sarastro Milk and Sugar

Large serving bowl for Rosenthal Studio Line

A collection of gold embellished vases for Rosenthal Studio Line

A selection of pieces from my collection of black and white Wiinblad for Rosenthal

Philipp Rosenthal started his porcelain company at Schloss Erkersreuth Castle in Selb, Germany in 1879. After his death in 1937, his son Philip succeeded him and in the next 20 years would turn Rosenthal into an almost unchallenged force in the design world for ceramics. Many other designers collaborated on Rosenthal series in the 1960’s and early 1970’s including Raymond Loewy, Timo Sarpaneva and Tapio Wirkkala. In later years, they continued to collaborate with artists and designers Andy Warhol, Jasper Morrison and Karl Lagerfeld to name a few. The company celebrated its 125 years anniversary in 2004.

A lidded bowl from my collection

The figures that Wiinblad created and the imagery in his work are immediately recognizable. His work is popular the world over and especially admired in Japan.

A Wiinblad print with gold details

Ceramic color samples

From the Arabian Nights series

He was named Man of the Year in New York in 1985 and awarded the Cultural Prize of 1995 by the Scandinavian-American Foundation.
Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006)

Magic Flute Sarastro for Rosenthal

17 Responses to “Bjorn Wiinblad”

  1. Jsprouse

    I have acquired, during
    one of my thrift shop excursions, a piece of pottery (bowl) that I am
    curious to know if it has any value.  Can you point me in the right direction as to who may be able to identify the
    piece and determine any value.  So far, all I know is that the bowl is hand made possibly in
    1949 by Bjørn Wiinblad.  I think it is one of his earlier works. 
    I absolutely love the art work in the bowl and I’ve enjoyed looking
    at the Wiinblad pieces I’ve viewed online – fun to look at and he had
    such a wonder-fully unique style!  They make me smile.Any information you could give would be ever so appreciated.

    • thegildedowl

       Dear Judy, the best place to look at examples or find someone to help identify the bowl is on http://www.1stdibs.com and ebay.  If you’d like to send me a picture of the bowl, I would be happy to send to some of the vendors I work with to try and get more information and details for you.  I have collected Wiinblad’s work for a very long time and truly enjoy my collection!  Thanks for following the gilded owl and let me know if I can help any further.  My best

      • Jsprouse

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply.  I tried to respond to your email with pictures of the Wiinblad bowl but your sight does not receive replies to emails.  
        And thank you for the suggestions of places to look.  I have checked eBay and cannot yet find one like this.

        Please feel free to email or call me if you have questions.
        Judy Sprouse, Benefits Coordinator 434-381-6323 Office
        434-381-6486 Fax jsprouse@sbc.eduOffice Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7:00a-5:30p 
        Sweet Briar College | PO Box 1090 | Sweet Briar VA 24595
         “The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein

  2. Ed

    Dear Andy,  I am an avid Bjorn collector and a fan of  his origninal paintings which are extremetly hard to find.. His style, artistry and coloring are mesmerizing.  I was delighted to see the photo of Bjorn with the painting behind him – it’s called Adam and Eve Naming the Animals.  the 2 boys in the painting , I presume are their sons. can you please tell me where you found that photo? It’s of special interest to me as I am the proud owner of that painting.
    And of course, I’d like to compliment you on your blog.  You have great taste.

    • Andy

      Dear Ed, thanks for the accolades on the blog!  I found the image online.  Most of the images here are from my personal collection but there are a few images that I found via the internet of Wiinblad and the interior of his home.  I will try and locate the source for you.  What a wonderful piece to have in your home.  I love my collection and it will continue to grow for years to come.  Very best, Andy

      • Aerides11

        Dear Andy,
        Thank you very much for your timely reply.  I shall be most appreciative if you can locate the source of the photo
        If you or any of your clients are interested to acquire some original ceramics or paintings by Wiinblad, you can look up Interior Galleriet in Oslo, Norway.  the proprietor Mr Otto Teige is one of the very few agents who had access to BW’s original art works. ( not the mass produced prints or ceramics by Rosenthal – not that they are less beautiful )  Mr Teige comes up with on or 2 original paintings once in a while, and they are really worth collecting.
        Thanks again.  With best wishes.

  3. Brendap_jennings

    I have in my possession what I believe are two original paintings by Bjorn Wiinblad. Where can I get info on these and can you recommend where I can got o get appraisal? I have not seen any reproductions of these so I am assuming they are originals.

  4. Jim Hoofnagle

    I have a large pottery piece by Wiinblad.  It is titled “Maggie Mae”.  She is 62″ tall made in 3 pieces.  I am having a difficult time finding a price for her for insurance purposes.  I believe that she was purchased at a Wiinblad shop in Dallas for about $18,000 US.  Any suggestions?

  5. Duganmcdermon

    Dear Owl,

    I own a 1965 L.2 Wiinblad centaur that I am selling, as I am moving house and will downsize considerably.  If you have anyone who is interested, I will send photos. The dear boy is in first quality condition. NO CHIPS OR DINGS. In 1968 he flew home from Copenhagen sitting on my lap, wrapped in reams of tissue and has had place of pride ever since.  This was way before we needed TSA.

  6. Eleanor

    I have a Bjorn Wiinblad coffee table that I would love to get a valuation for. Could you suggest any contacts that it would be worth me sending pictures too?
    I don’t want to just put it on EBay without knowing its true value as I believe it’s very rare.
    Any help appreciated.

  7. Eleanor

    Hi Andy,
    Thank you for your quick response. I forgot to mention that I am based in the UK – do you know of any contacts over here?

    • Andy

      I’m sorry Ellie, but I do not know of any auction houses there that I could recommend. I will get back to you if I come up with an option. Thanks


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