Freeman's

Department Specialist


Kate Lawler
Digital Content Manager

Published: 1 August 2017

Flora Danica China and the Age of Enlightenment

In the 18th century, during the height of the Age of Enlightenment, philosophical exploration of politics, sciences and more led to works relevant even today. One such piece was the Flora Danica Botanical Encyclopedia; an illustrated collection depicting Danish wild flowers and plants. The book was commissioned by King Frederik V 1761 and took over a century to complete. During its development, the Encyclopedia’s beauty inspired other botanical depictions including porcelain service-wear from the Royal Copenhagen company still in production, and still successful at auction today.

The Flora Danica collection was introduced in 1790 and consisted of over 1,800 pieces. The dinner service was commissioned by Danish King, Christian VII as a gift to Empress Catherine II of Russia. Each piece, as it is still created today, was hand-painted on fine porcelain.

Many pieces also include a nod to Roman aesthetic. Botany wasn’t the only science emerging during the Age of Enlightenment. Antiquarianism, evolved and known today as Archaeology, was another en vogue science with the discovery of Pompeii. Flora Danica china often includes gilded edges with Roman-influenced patterns.

Flora Danica service-wear’s popularity in today’s market is due to its exclusivity. Even newer pieces from the 20th century realize success at final hammer, as Flora Danica is made-to-order with over 3,000 options from the original Flora Danica encyclopedia, and hand-crafted from some of the finest porcelain in the world. Below are a few examples of Flora Danica china Freeman’s has recently facilitated to auction.

1. This coffee service set was comprised of a coffee pot, covered sugar, creamer, reticulated fruit basket and a pickle dish created between 1985-1991, the set sold for $6,250.

2. Created in 1962, this tureen and stand sold for $6,875.

3. Dated between 1985-1991, this luncheon service of twelve was comprised of luncheon plates, salad plates, great and butter plates and cups and saucers. It sold for $12,500.

4. This group of serving dishes was also created between 1985-1991. It included two large oval platters and two covered vegetable dishes. It sold for $13,750.

 

Curious how much your Flora Danica china will bring at auction?
Get a complimentary auction estimate and more information here.

 

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