Our museum feature this month takes us to Copenhagen, Denmark, as we showcase two rare, large Christmas plates produced by Bing & Grondahl. Between the years of 1908 and 1911, Bing & Grondahl released four 12 1/4-inch plate designs (of which we have two) that have become highly collectible and quite valuable.
Released in 1908, the “Bethlehem” plate features a beautiful nighttime landscape of Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth. An additional plate, entitled “A Child Is Born in Bethlehem,” was released in 1910, and features the Madonna and child framed by an arch-shaped window. Although it’s unknown how many of these plates were produced, evidence suggests more were made in 1908 and 1909 than in 1910 and 1911.
Bing & Grondahl released their first annual Christmas plate, entitled “Behind the Frozen Window,” in 1895. This plate was designed for the Bing & Grondahl Company by artist Frans August Hallin. (Replacements, Ltd. currently has the original and quite rare “Behind the Frozen Window” plate in stock and available for purchase.) These plates are not only beautiful, but many have been used to tell stories or to make statements regarding issues of the day. One example of this is found in the 1919 Christmas plate, entitled “Outside the Lighted Window.” This design depicts a girl with a basket standing by a fence in front the lighted window of a home, and represents an illustration from the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Little Match Girl.”
Other Christmas plate designs were used to protest Nazi occupation or to memorialize soldiers of World War I and II. The 1946 plate, entitled “Commemoration Cross,” shows a wooden cross over the Copenhagen canal. This cross was placed there when Denmark was liberated from Nazi occupation, and was done in commemoration of the 1,400 Danish lives that were lost during the invasion of Normandy. Production of Bing & Grondahl annual Christmas plates continues today, as it has for more than a century, and the series is famous worldwide.
The large Christmas plates in our museum are not for sale, but we do have a variety of annual Christmas plates and other Bing & Grondahl items available for purchase in our inventory; be sure to browse our web site. And remember that we always invite you to visit our facilities – here you'll see a stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles. Our 500,000-square-foot facilities hold more than 12 million individual pieces in more than 400,000 patterns. Our showroom and museum are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm ET, 7 days (except holidays); free tours are available from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm ET, 7 days. The showroom and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you.