Kay Bojesen (15 August 1886 – 28 August 1958)
Kay Bojesen was a Danish Silversmith and toymaker. His most famous silverwork is the Grand Prix winning flatware (aptly named the Grand Prix set) which is unavailable to the public but is still used in every Danish Embassy around the world. But he is best known for creating wooden animals, especially his wooden monkey which today is considered a design classic.
Early in his Career, Bojesen would train with Georg Jensen and his early work was described as heavily Art Nouveau influenced. It was in 1922 that Kay started focusing on wooden toys. These included a teak and limba monkey (1951), an oak elephant, a bear made of oak and maple, a rocking horse of beech, a parrot, a dachshund, and toy soldiers of the Danish Royal Guard including a drummer, a private with gun and a standard-bearer. His work reflected the Danish skonvirke style and in 1930 he began working for Bing & Grondahl as their Artistic Director. Bojesen opened his own shop in 1932 not just for silver but also with a woodturning workshop.
Today Rosendahl have acquired the rights to keep producing Bojesen’s most beloved toys. When talking about his work, Bojesen once said “an item must have a soul, it must function properly, be nice to hold and a pleasure to look at” and “there should be circus in it”.