One of the most iconic Danish collectibles found around the world are pretty, blue-and-white Christmas plates, produced for over a century by Denmark’s two main porcelain manufacturers – Bing & Grøndahl since 1895 and Royal Copenhagen since 1908. The scenes portrayed are recognizably Danish or religious. Someone lucky enough to obtain every plate would have 234 by now, including the 2017 versions (see below). Many owners use the plates seasonally for food or as wall decorations year-round.
There is no indication that production of new plates will stop. They retail for about $100, now both under the umbrella of Royal Copenhagen. Old designs are never reissued, which helps generate collector interest, but resale prices can vary significantly. Plates from the 1970s, when large numbers were manufactured to meet a spike in popularity, can resell for as little as $5, but those of more recent or older years typically fetch anything from $60 to a few hundred dollars; a Royal Copenhagen 1945 plate was recently offered online for more than $800. Another influence is whether a plate was sold as perfect and or as a discounted “second,” with a tiny blemish that might take an expert to recognize. But no matter what the resale value, many owners have no intention of letting go of these lovely Danish heirlooms.
—Photo of plate collection: Cathy Kristiansen, Family History Profiles
—Photos of 2017 plates courtesy of Royal Copenhagen
—Purchase of new Royal Copenhagen collectibles: Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl
—DPH Trading: The Danish Porcelain House – see copy of all Royal Copenhagen plates
—Danish Windmill, Iowa: Danish plates and collectibles