The pattern has Japanese or Chinese origins, and it was brought to Denmark in the late 1700’s, where it was first produced by what would become the Royal Copenhagen factories. It was the young factory’s first success, admired even by King Christian VII.
From Royal Copenhagen’s website:
Royal Copenhagen’s very first porcelain dinner service, the Blue Fluted pattern is as graceful as when it was first adopted in 1775 as the very first porcelain dinner service. It takes 1,197 brush strokes – no more, no less – to paint a Blue Fluted Half Lace dinner plate. Meticulous work and gorgeous art always went hand in hand.
The pattern is said to be mussels and flowers, and is complex, but not over-elaborate.
In England, the pattern was adapted by Furnivals Potteries, which was the first English company to produce these Danish wares. There are subtle differences between Furnivals’ pieces and the ones by Royal Copenhagen. In fact, like the Blue Willow pattern, each company which manufactures it, does it slightly differently. Company records suggest that the Blue Denmark pattern was produced from the 1850s with virtually no modification to the pattern or shape until the closure of the business in 1968. However, the name varies slightly. It’s variously known as Blue Denmark, Denmark, the Danish pattern or the Mussels pattern.
In fact, there are two Wedgwood brands that produce this pattern – Franciscan and Mason Ironstone. Royal Copenhagen produced a riff on this classical pattern, shown bottom right, called Blue Fluted Mega, which just shows the smallest segment of the pattern.
It’s great to find such a classic pattern that’s endured for more than two centuries, yet still looks contemporary.