An entrepreneurial monarch
Juliane Marie was the widow of King Frederik V and came to power in Denmark and Norway when her late husband’s son from his first marriage became mentally ill and was unable to govern. Juliane Marie was a strong woman with a good grasp of the needs of the time. Via her European contacts, she had understood that a combination of knowledge and the use of local raw materials would improve local living conditions. Like many other European monarchs, she supported research in natural science. It was no longer theology but science that would improve life on earth, hence her interest in mineralogy and the raw materials for porcelain production.
From a good porcelain family
The production of porcelain was not entirely unknown to Juliane Marie. Her brother, Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel had also founded a porcelain factory in Fürstenberg, Germany. In addition, their sister was married to Frederik II of Prussia, one of Europe’s absolute monarchs who in 1763 founded a porcelain factory in Berlin. Although the siblings corresponded, the secret for porcelain manufacturing was not shared between them and it was only in 1774 that porcelain was first produced in Copenhagen. Finally, Juliane Marie and the Danish royal family had their own valuable porcelain production, like other European monarchies.
The royal crown and the three waves
Juliane Marie was adamant from the start that each piece of Royal Copenhagen porcelain would be stamped with its unique factory mark: the three hand-painted waves that symbolise Denmark’s waterways, the ‘Oresund’ or Sound, the Great Belt and the Little Belt. The queen also introduced the royal crown stamp to highlight the factory’s royal association. The crown has changed over time and can be used to date each piece of Royal Copenhagen.