Saturday, 26 October 2013

THE POTTERY - A Dragon for Halloween

A fine and fanciful piece by Danish ceramic specialists P. Ipsens Enke.

I like the idea of collecting china and pottery which has a seasonal connection. I keep it in a bookcase bureau like a Cabinet of Curiosities and bring out items to display according to the occasion. I love dragons and this one is perfect for October and Halloween. I also think he has a bat like appearance.

I'm not sure for what use this piece was intended. Perhaps just decorative. But it could display jewellery, calling cards or Halloween sweets.

Danish, Circa 1904 P. Ipsens Enke Ceramic Dragon signed by sculptor Axel Jensen.

4 inches high, diameter 13 inches.

He is wonderfully detailed. From his beautiful head and claws right down to his fantastic tail which curls round perfectly.

He is for sale through the New York dealer Lost City Arts. HERE: 

P. Ipsens Enke, the pottery where he was produced was established in Denmark by Bornhom born potter Rasmus Peter Ipsen in 1843 when he was just 28 years old. As a child of 13 he had worked a gruelling job at a brickyard at which he carried 4000 bricks every day. He then worked for a joiner where he put in very long hours and became so unwell that he had to quit. This early toil may have been what later curtailed his life. It was lucky that a friend from school found him a trainee position at The Royal Copenhagen where he learned to throw and could use his vision for form and colours. P. Ipsens pottery produced the work of many Danish artists of that time and was successful enough for him to be able to build a new larger pottery near Copenhagen in 1847. Following his early death at the age of 45 his wife Lovise Christine Ipsen carried on the business until 1865 (Enke means 'widow') when his eldest son  Bertel Ipsen , also a potter took over management of the pottery.
P. Ipsens Enke closed in 1955.

        Read more about Peter Ipsen on Ceramics Today   
Landscape by Axel P Jensen
I think that this Dragon piece must be a rare one as the sculptor Axel Peder Jenson (1885–1972) was a modernist painter known mainly for his landscapes although in his early days he completed a number of portraits. The son of a farmer he had a deep love for the countryside fields which he ploughed and painted so well. He is remembered for his wonderful colours and brushstrokes.
I especially like that it is said that he had a special feel for the seasons painting both Summer and the cold wet Autumns. This makes me think that perhaps when he created this Dragon he was thinking of Autumn.
 Later he also designed a set of airmail stamps for Denmark, which you can see HERE:

 And you can read about him on his Wiki page  HERE:




  1. Oh, my ... my heart skipped a beat when I saw the dragon. I love dragons and this girl can never have too many dragons, but I'm afraid this one is a little out of my league! Thank you for introducing me to Axel Peder Jensen and P. Ipsens Enke, pottery. I enjoy visiting to see what new thing I might learn.

    Happy Weekend!

  2. Thank you for a very interesting post (and for the link!)
    All the best,

  3. Love the "Halloween - dragon" wonderful details and colour. Lizzie x

  4. I would recommend egg shaped jelly beans for the dragon dish. What an artist.

  5. The dragon dish is so lovely as well as unusual. I see the dish filled with a small potpourri, which the dragon can heat up with his fire when he likes. As for the painting, I love the vivid colors captured on a gray, rainy day. Ann

  6. Such a wonderful piece of pottery, and interesting back story!

  7. A lovely tail and sweet face for a dragon! She-dragon? ; )

  8. I really love the little dish. If I had any room whatever for more dishes, I would buy it, as it is rare something takes my fancy like this and I am sure I would not get tired of it. But I had to say goodbye to so many beautiful dishes when I cleared my mother's house, that I don't see myself buying any more for a good long while.... I agree with Midori, above, that unlike many dragons, this one has a pleasant face

  9. gorgeous dragon! thanks for sharing him.


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