TRIENNALE DI MILANO
THE STORY OF THE GRAND PRIX CUTLERY
FIRST PRIZE CUTLERY
The world expo Triennale di Milano was in 1951 the foremost venue for presenting and marketing the newest and best design from all over the world. Kay Bojesen participated with his silver cutlery that included no less than 57 different parts. All shaped and adapted to the well-spread tables of the time. Back then, many dishes had their own custom-designed cutlery pieces, for instance an asparagus fork, a small cream spoon or a sardine fork.
The cutlery received much positive attention and took home the Grand Prix first prize. Kay Bojesen was both happy and proud to return to Copenhagen with his silver cutlery in his suitcase; so proud that he upon his return named the cutlery Grand Prix.
In the subsequent years, it became possible to produce the cutlery in steel, which offered many more the opportunity to eat using well-crafted, beautiful and functional tools.
70-YEAR BIRTHDAY FOR THE MATTE GRAND PRIX CUTLERY
Kay Bojesen introduced the Grand Prix cutlery for the first time in 1938. Since it first saw the light of day, it has been awarded with the Italian first prize at the design Triennale of Milan in 1951, which cemented the cutlery series as an icon in Danish design history. In 1953, just a couple of years after the Grand Prix cutlery in silver had won the recognized design award, Kay Bojesen presented his cutlery series in a matte stainless-steel version, as an alternative to the precious silver. Until then, the cutlery had only been produced in silver, which was Bojesen’s preferred material to work with.
From silver cutlery to steel cutlery
Kay Bojesen was, however, a frontrunner within his field, and enjoyed exploring the potentials that the industrialization brought with it, in example by using steel for his designs. The steel was a more accessible material for many, and therefore matched well with Kay Bojesen’s personal design philosophy, which was based on bringing things into the world that could benefit and spread joy amongst as many people as possible.
The introduction of the Grand Prix in steel made the cutlery far more readily available for the general public, who did not necessarily have the means or the desire to use their fine silverware on a daily basis. The matte steel cutlery was an instant hit and is still the favorite of the Danes. Today it can be found on Danish embassies, restaurants, hotels and in private homes, not only in Denmark, but all over the world.
Read more about how Kay Bojesen’s designs, including his Grand Prix cutlery, is carried forward by his granddaughter, Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist, today, in the Kay Bojesen Magazine: