Since 1775, every piece of porcelain that has left Royal Copenhagen carries its factory marks; the three waves, the royal crown and the painter's mark. These are symbols of authenticity, the royal connection and the mark of handcraftsmanship.
The three blue waves
When the Dowager Queen Juliane Marie founded the Royal Porcelain Factory in 1775, she insisted that the three waves should be the factory's trademark. The waves symbolise Denmark's three most important bodies of water; the Sound, the Great Belt and the Little Belt.
To this day, the waves are painted on the back of each piece of porcelain and comprise Royal Copenhagen's well-known signature of authenticity, a mark of fine craftsmanship and Danish porcelain art.
The royal crown
The crown symbolises Royal Copenhagen's beginnings in the hands of the entrepreneurial monarchy. The crown was initially painted by hand, but by the 1870's, the company began to stamp the mark under the glaze. The crown is decorated with the "Dagmar Cross", a jewelled crucifix dating from the Middle Ages that was discovered in 1690.
Over the years, the crown has changed but it is possible to identify the year or decade in which each piece of porcelain was manufactured. Below are some examples of the crown's evolution through time.
The craftmans's mark
It takes four years to learn the craft of painting on Royal Copenhagen porcelain. And although it may be difficult for a layperson to distinguish one Blue Fluted Plain design from another, accomplished painters always know their own work, as they know their own personal handwriting.
Each painter had (and still has) their own stamp, marked on the bottom of every piece of porcelain. Some
of the painters are well-known, but some are now a mystery.