Evald Nielsen (1879-1958)
‘It is wonderful to do work which it is sad to sell’
1893 Evald Nielson was offered an apprenticeship with the flatware presser A. Fleron in Copenhagen. Instead of working on flatware himself, Nielsen trained as a chaser and engraver, focusing on steel and silver.
1898 Nielsen became a journeyman pedalling the dies and stamps he produced for his master. To earn a little extra money, Nielsen also produced flatware designs for other workshops
1903 Nielsen applied for and received a travel grant and set out on his own as a talented young journeyman. His travels took him to Germany and then onto Paris where he was exposed to all the innovations in jewellery design and production. His earliest work is clearly inspired by contemporary German jewellery.
1905 Nielsen returned to Denmark and started his own business with the help of his old master. He devoted a huge amount of time and effort to his ventures and showed great determination and enthusiasm.
Nielsen was cautious and tended to stick to things that offered little risk, he refused collaboration with Erik Magnussen shortly after the Great War.
As a fledgling jeweller Nielsen visited all the Copenhagen goldsmiths’ shops with his sample box and tried to sell his jewellery. To help support himself, he also worked as an engraver for several shops.
1907 By this time sales for Nielsen were very strong and he was able to buy a whole workshop.
Nielsen gave the exclusive selling rights for his jewellery to a company called S.L.Jacobsen. They distributed his work in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. This wide distribution called for a large and important production and his work now equalled the best that Denmark had to offer.
The “Nielsen style” was considered on a par with the “Jensen style”. Its very distinctive and opulent forms were unique and although mimicked by contemporaries, no other workshops mastered the techniques in the same way.
Later in his career Nielsen was one of the jewellers most instrumental in spreading the
Skønvirke style. Skønvirke or "aesthetic work" is Denmark's equivalent of the Arts & Crafts style; typically it has a puffy or bursting look with succulent leaves and voluptuous scrolls, etc. Nielsen was a true master of the style although he never really received any formal artistic training.
1918 Nielsen was appointed Master of the Goldsmith’s Guild. His dedication to his work and progress in improving the quality of his profession led to him being chosen for this award, a position he held for thirty years.
1925 Nielsen won a Grand Prix for his ‘Bee Sucking Honey from a Flower’ brooch at the World Exposition in Paris
Evald Nielsen’s work was carried on by his son Bjarne Nielsen