Monday, July 27, 2009

Vintage Pendant for Anniversary Collection

Image Courtesy Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold & Silversmith To celebrate the anniversary of the late Jens Hansen’s birthday this month, the team at Nelson-based Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold & Silversmith are adding a vintage Four Square pendant to the Jens Hansen 40th Anniversary Collection. Jens Hansen set up his jewellery studio in Nelson in 1968 and word of his unique style soon spread. Gregarious and outspoken, he created edgy, experimental work that brought him worldwide recognition. His classically-designed jewellery is celebrated in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa’s permanent collection; and in literature showcasing New Zealand art and design. Jen’s legacy includes his reputation as one of the founders of New Zealand contemporary jewellery design; and his celebrity as the designer of the Lord of the Rings One Ring. He received a Queen Elizabethh II Arts Council grant to work at the Goldsmiths High School in Copenhagen in 1975; he was a founding member of Details – the jewellers and Bone & Stone Carvers of New Zealand; and he helped establish Nelson Polytechnic jewellery classes. Jens sadly passed away in 1999 but his two sons are keeping the legacy alive. Thorkild Hansen was an apprentice jewellery designer in his teens and is now chief jeweller at the company’s Selwyn Place workshop; and Halfdan Hansen is business manager. Halfdan says the newly released Four Square pendant represents the very distinctive style Jens loved in the 1960s and 1970s. “Jens’ architectural influences were sometimes displayed through his asymmetrical shapes and geometric designs,” he says. “This silver pendant is quite a statement and surprisingly delicate for its size. When it was made in the early 1970s, it took the public by surprise as it was so different to the conservative jewellery available here at the time.” Today the Four Square pendant retails for NZ$999 and you can see the entire 40th Anniversary Collection at the Jens Hansen workshop in Nelson, or by visiting It’s worth it – the rings in particular are stunning!

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