1892 - 1977
Harald Nielsen started as a chaser apprentice at the Georg Jensen silversmithy in 1909. At the same time he also took drawing lessons at painter Carl V. Meyer. One of his tasks in the silversmithy was to go through the drawings and adjust them for production. He also made drawings and designs for both flatware and hollowware himself. His sister Johanne married Georg Jensen and thus he became Jensen's brother-in-law.
At the outset, Nielsen’s designs reflected influences of the popular Art Nouveau style of the time. He quickly departed from Art Nouveau to develop a distinctive style incorporating Art Déco design language, but with overall serious innovation. Nielsen was very much inspired by designer Johan Rohde who also worked for Jensen.
Nielsen was an outstanding draftsman and created some of the most successful Jensen designs throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He is perhaps best known for his Pyramid pattern, which was designed in 1926 and inspired by the exhumation of Tutankhamen’s tomb by Howard Carter and the many remarkable artifacts from that discovery. Pyramid is a very sought after Art Deco pattern and the silverware was supplemented by an extensive range of matching hollowware pieces.
Nielsen’s version of the Old Danish silver cutlery from 1947, a reaction to Denmark’s occupation during World War II, became one of his most famous. A favourite for several generations, the thoroughly Danish design and solid expressive feeling of precious silver has made for an enduring line.
After Georg Jensen’s death in 1935, Harald Nielsen made it his own life’s work to carry on the work of the master. From 1954-1958 he was the director of the silversmithy and from 1958-1962 he was the artistic leader of the design studio and from 1962-1967 Nielsen was artistic advisor for Georg Jensen silversmithy.
In the end, Nielsen spent more than half a century at Georg Jensen.