Anton Michelsen

Anton Michelsen (1809-1877) was a Danish silversmith and the founder of A. Michelsen.

Anton Michelsen

Anton Michelsen (1809-1877) was a Danish silversmith and the founder of A. Michelsen, a prestigious jewelry and silverware company that became the official royal court and order jeweler. Born in Hasmark on Funen, Michelsen came from a long line of blacksmiths and followed in their footsteps by completing an apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Odense in 1828.

In 1830, Michelsen moved to Copenhagen to further his training in various workshops, including those of Dyrkoph and court goldsmith J.B. Dalhoff. He also applied to the Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under G.F. Hetsch. In 1836, Michelsen embarked on an extended trip abroad and worked in the finest workshops of the time in Germany and Paris, including Wagner.

Michelsen returned to Copenhagen in 1841 and opened his own workshop in Gothersgade. From the outset, the royal family took a keen interest in Michelsen's work. Christian 8th had Michelsen execute the Danish orders, and since then, the firm had the predicate of kgl. court and order jewelers. In 1855, Anton Michelsen was the only Danish goldsmith to exhibit at the first World Exhibition in Paris, and the company has since participated with honor in most international exhibitions and fairs.

Upon Michelsen's death in 1877, his son Carl Michelsen (1853-1921), who was trained as a lawyer and merchant, took over the family business. Carl Michelsen continued his father's legacy by recruiting several prominent artists of the time as his employees, including Arnold Krog, Harald Slott-Møller, Hans Tegner, Martin Nyrop, and Thorvald Bindesbøll. The latter, in particular, played a significant role in the company's success, designing many of its most famous pieces.

Under Carl Michelsen's leadership, A. Michelsen became one of the most highly regarded silversmiths and jewelers in Denmark. He was active in the development of the industry and served as chairman of the Industrial Association and the first board of the Museum of Decorative Arts. Today, the company is merged with Georg Jensen and continues to be recognized as a symbol of excellence and craftsmanship in Danish silverware and jewelry.