|Founded||1 May 1775|
Royal Copenhagen, officially the Royal Porcelain Factory (Danish: Den Kongelige Porcelænsfabrik), is a manufacturer of porcelain products and was founded in Copenhagen 1 May 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie. It is recognized by its factory mark, the three wavy lines above each other, symbolizing Denmark’s three straits: Øresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt.
Starting in the 17th century, Europeans were fascinated by the blue and white and white porcelain exported from China during the Ming and Qing dynasties, but Danes had to discover for themselves how to produce the "white gold" (white glaze) that they found so irresistible about porcelain.
The Royal Copenhagen manufactory operations began in a converted post office in 1775. It was founded by a chemist, Frantz Heinrich Müller, who was given a 50-year monopoly to create porcelain. The first pieces manufactured were dining services for the royal family. When, in 1779, King Christian VII assumed financial responsibility, the manufactory was styled the Royal Porcelain Factory. In 1790, Royal Copenhagen brought out its now famous Flora Danica ‘Blue Fluted’ dinner service, with gilded edge and Danish flora motifs, and Royal Copenhagen held a monopoly on the "Blue Fluted" name.
By 1851, Royal Copenhagen qualified for the World Expo in London. In 1868, as a result of royal companies' privatization, the Royal Porcelain Factory came into private hands. It was purchased by the faience factory Aluminia in 1882. Shortly after Aluminia's acquisition, Royal Copenhagen production was moved to a modern factory building at Aluminia’s site in Frederiksberg, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. By 1889, Royal Copenhagen qualified for the World Expo in Paris, winning the Grand Prix, giving it international exposure.
In recent years, Royal Copenhagen acquired Georg Jensen in 1972, incorporated with Holmegaard Glass Factory in 1985, and finally Bing & Grøndahl in 1987. Royal Copenhagen was a part of a group of Scandinavian companies, Royal Scandinavia, together with Georg Jensen, and was owned by the Danish private equity fund, Axcel. Following Axcel's acquisition of Royal Scandinavia, Holmegaard Glasværk was sold in a MBO and a controlling interest in the Swedish glass works Orrefors Kosta Boda was sold to New Wave Group.
Patterns (original manufacturer in parentheses)
- Flora Danica, Blue Fluted (in Danish: Musselmalet), Blue Flower, Henriette, Saxon Flower, Fan, Gemina, and Gemma (Royal Copenhagen)
- Empire, Offenbach, Butterfly, and Seagull (Bing & Grøndahl)
- Tranquebar and Blue Line (Aluminia).
- Black Mega, Palmette, White Plain, White Half Lace, White Full Lace, Blue Flower Curved and Plain, White Pot, Blue Line, the new Christmas service Star Fluted, and Ole.
- Gemina, Gemma, Jingle Bells, and Julian Marie (Royal Copenhagen)
- Seagull, Blue Henning Koppel, White Henning Koppel, Tema, Mexico (Bing & Grøndahl)
- Royal Copenhagen 2010 plaquettes: Numbered and named faience plates depicted a variety of scenes, holidays, years, and occasions. Most commonly round, they measured about 8 cm (3-1/4") in diameter, with a blue scene on white background.
- Larger, approximately 7-1/4", blue on white faience plates, created annually for Mother's Day, the Olympics, and other commemorations. Some weren't annual issues, instead depicted scenes. In 1895, Royal Copenhagen began producing annual Christmas plates, still in production today 
- Porcelein pipes, beginning in 1969 and manufactured for about 15 years.
The tradition of Christmas plates started hundreds of years ago in Europe, when wealthy people presented their servants with cookies and candies, served on decorative plates of wood or metal at Christmas time. The servants referred to these gifts as their Christmas Plate. In 1895 Bing & Grøndahl produced the first Christmas plate made from porcelain, with the date inscribed, and has made one each year since. In 1908 the Royal Copenhagen factory followed suit. Each year these plates are made in limited quantities and have been a highly prized commodity for over 100 years. Each plate is made in the year of issue only, after which the mold is destroyed, and the plate never made again.
The themes since 1908 are:
|1908||Madonna & Child|
|1913||Frederiks Kirke||Frederik's Church|
|1914||Helligåndskirken||Church of the Holy Ghost|
|1916||Shepherds in the Field|
|1917||Vor Frelsers Kirke||Church of Our Saviour, Christianshavn|
|1919||In The Park|
|1920||Mary & Child|
|1922||Three Singing Angels|
|1927||Ship's Boy at Tiller|
|1929||Grundtvigs Kirke||Grundtvig's Church|
|1931||Mother & Child|
|1933||Storebæltsfærgerne||Great Belt ferries|
|1934||Eremitageslottet||The Hermitage Palace|
|1936||Roskilde Domkirke||Roskilde Cathedral|
|1939||Ship on Greenland Ice|
|1940||The Good Shepherd|
|1943||Flight Into Egypt|
|1947||The Good Shepherd|
|1948||Nødebo Kirke||Nødebo Church|
|1949||Vor Frue Kirke||Church of Our Lady|
|1952||Christmas In The Forest|
|1956||Rosenborg Slot||Rosenborg Castle|
|1957||The Good Shepherd|
|1961||Training Ship Denmark|
|1962||Den lille havfrue||The Little Mermaid|
|1964||Fetching The Tree|
|1966||The Blackbird At Christmas|
|1967||The Royal Oak|
|1968||The Last Umiak|
|1970||Christmas Rose & Cat|
|1971||Hare In Winter|
|1972||In The Desert|
|1973||Train Homeward Bound|
|1975||Marselisborg Slot||Marselisborg Palace|
|1979||Choosing The Tree|
|1980||Bringing Home The Tree|
|1981||Admiring The Tree|
|1982||Waiting For Christmas|
|1989||Old Skating Pond|
|1991||Santa Lucia Fest|
|1992||The Royal Coach|
|1994||Home From Shopping|
|1995||The Manor House|
|1997||Roskilde Domkirke||Roskilde Cathedral|
|1999||The Sleigh Ride|
|2000||Trimming The Tree|
|2001||Watching The Birds|
|2002||Winter In The Forest|
|2004||Awaiting The Christmas Train|
|2005||Hans Christian Andersen House|
|2007||Christmas in Nyhavn|
|2009||Christmas at Amagertorv||Amager Square|
|2010||Christmas in Greenland|
|2011||Waiting For Santa Claus|
|2012||Sailing The North Sea|
|2014||Hans Christian Andersen|
- Bojesen, Benedicte, and Steen Nottelmann. Royal Copenhagen Art, Industry. Lyngby: Sophienholm, 1996. ISBN 87-87883-57-0
- Christoffersen, Lars. Christmas Plates & Other Commemoratives from Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2004. ISBN 0-7643-2089-0 Table of contents
- Heritage, Robert J. Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Animals and Figurines. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 1997. ISBN 0-7643-0101-2
- Kongelige Porcelainsfabrik, Bredo L. Grandjean, Dyveke Helsted, and Merete Bodelsen. The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory 1775-1975. Copenhagen: The Manufactory, [eksp., Amagertorv 6], 1975. ISBN 87-980342-1-9
- Pope, Caroline, and Nick Pope. A Collector's Guide to Royal Copenhagen Porcelain. A Schiffer book for collectors. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001. ISBN 0-7643-1386-X
- Wagner, Peter, Steen Nottelmann, Finn Andersen, and Paul Nesbitt. Flora Danica. Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 1994. ISBN 0-9523869-0-9
- Winstone, H. V. F. Royal Copenhagen. [London]: Stacey International, 1984. ISBN 0-905743-37-7
- "History timeline". Royal Copenhagen. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- Lu Chenglong. "A Brief Introduction to Chinese Ceramics in Sweden". Gotheborg.com. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- http://www.danishpipemakers.com/articles/porcelain/porcelain.html accessdate 2007-08-19
- http://americanairlines.wcities.com/en/record/217,85812/99/record.html accessdate 2007-08-19
- http://www.dishset.org/blog/copenhagenplates/ accessdate 2007-08-19
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. "ROYAL COPENHAGEN TO THAILAND". Denmark.dk. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- http://www.royalcopenhagen.org/index1.html accessdate 2007-08-19
Media related to Royal Copenhagen at Wikimedia Commons