In 1955, New York entrepreneur and engineer Ted Nierenberg, and his wife Martha, traveled to Denmark. At Copenhagen's Kunsthaandvaerker Museum they saw a hand-forged fork, spoon and knife with teakwood handles that had won a design competition for 35-year-old Jens Quistgaard. Elegant and pure, the design combined two natural materials in a graceful manner — a simple concept for the Nineties, but revolutionary for the Fifties. Quistgaard told Nierenberg that his designs were too difficult to manufacture and no one wanted to tackle them. But Nierenberg's search led him to manufacturing sources he knew could execute such pieces; he convinced Quistgaard that they had to try. The pattern was Fjord. The company was Dansk. And the energy born of the fusion of Nierenberg's marketing genius and Quistgaard's brilliant creativity ignited a whole new industry. "Tabletop" had been redefined.
Nierenberg knew nothing of retailing, but he went out on the road to sell Fjord. The first 60 stores he visited placed orders. Fjord flatware went "platinum" and for 30 years was in the Dansk product line. It was discontinued in 1984 when it could no longer be manufactured maintaining Dansk's quality standard at an affordable price. When it was retired, Fjord sold for $100 a place setting.
Dansk proceeded to grow with the unique idea that every object needed for the top of the table could be beautiful as well as useful. Many Dansk designs found their way to permanent collections of the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Introductions into the product line had a "safe" feel for the consumer because the designs could be mixed and matched. The Dansk approach became a lifestyle choice.
The Current Dansk Patterns
The following patterns are considered current Dansk patterns. If you do not see your favorite pattern listed here, visit the Discontinued & Current Patterns section for a catalog of all Dansk patterns that we have identified.