Jacob Jensen Nordmand

The ivory turner Jacob Jensen was born in Norway and became a sailor in the Danish navy. He was then apprenticed as a blacksmith in the Low Countries and, from 1624 to 1639, he was a soldier for the Low Countries in Brazil.

In 1648, when Frederik III and Sophie Amalie arrived in Kristiania (Oslo) to receive homage, Jacob Jensen succeeded in presenting the Queen with a piece of work of his. It was so well received that he was called to Denmark and was employed by the court as a turner. He worked in the Kunstkammeret (the Cabinet of Curiosities) and the Tøjhuset (the Arsenal), he became Master of the Arsenal in 1657.

He taught ivory turning to several members of the Royal family; among his students were Frederik III, Sophie Amalie, Christian V, Charlotte Amalie and Crown Prince Frederik (IV). Frederik III held Jacob Jensen in such high esteem that he ordered a portrait of him by Wolfgang Heimbach. This hangs presently in Rosenborg above his most outstanding work: a magnificent model of the frigate “Norske Løve” (“Norwegian Lion”), executed in ivory and silver.