Bing and Grondahl first opened in 1853. Frederick Vilhelm Grondahl, a young artist and sculptor, partnered with M.H. and J.H. Bing. The Bing brothers were successful businessmen in the city of Copenhagen. With the start up capital of the Bing brothers and the artistic vision of Grondahl, the Bing and Grondahl Porcelain Factory became a reality.
Vilhelm Grondahl died a year and half after the new factory opened. The years following Grondahl’s death proved to be extremely difficult. Denmark is practically void of the natural resources necessary to produce and decorate china. Additionally, there was a shortage of skilled workers available to decorate Bing and Grondahl’s products. M.H. and J.H. Bing struggled to import the resources necessary to keep the factory open. Without Grondahl’s artistic vision, many of Bing and Grondahl’s earliest products were unpopular and did not sell well.
In 1889, Bing and Grondahl showcased its first underglazed porcelain service. Since the company’s birth, all porcelain was decorated in the overglaze style. The company worked to develop a controlled method of firing that would allow for photo quality images to appear on porcelain. The company produced a dinner service called Heron that featured the newly developed underglaze style. Using cobalt blue paint, a design is painted onto the unfired porcelain. The porcelain is fired. After the first firing, the piece is glazed and then fired again. The Heron service allowed Bing and Grondahl to develop an international reputation. In 1895, Bing and Grondahl released the first of its Christmas Plates. These highly collectible plates feature the underglaze firing method. The production of the annual Christmas plate has been uninterrupted since their release in 1895.
Throughout the early years of the 20th century, Bing and Grondahl experienced rapid growth. In 1914, the company began producing stonewares. In 1925, Bing and Grondahl developed “soft porcelain” goods. Soft porcelain was a variation of Bing and Grondahl’s stonewares. Bing and Grondahl opened its second factory in 1949.
Today, the company remains in the hands of the descendants of the Bing brothers. Bing and Grondahl’s porcelain collectibles are featured in the Buckingham Palace and the Royal Courts of Denmark, Sweden, and Great Britain. Additionally, many of Bing and Grondahl’s collectible items can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Many of the company’s collectible lines are featured at Replacements. Be sure to browse through our inventory of Christmas Plates, Mother’s Day Plates, and collectible figurines.