Original stories in wood
Kay Bojesen – original stories in wood
When the Kay Bojesen brand was founded back in 1932, it marked the start of a story about a craftsman with a great sense of humour and plenty of curiosity. Kay Bojesen created his animals and figures based on the philosophy that good design should be accessible to everyone, and over time Kay Bojesen has become synonymous with original Danish design.
Kay Bojesen is the epitome of original Danish design; his soft, round shapes and smiling lines create original stories in wood. Kay Bojesen’s designs have always been based on the world of children. A world full of curiosity and imagination, which has inspired many of the iconic characters we know today.
Danish quality design through generations
Some of the designs Kay Bojesen is best known for include the imaginative monkeys, the soldiers from the Royal Danish Guard and other wooden animals – a happy family filled, the highest quality and sustainable materials. Kay Bojesen's collection is a real tribute to the inner child – and appeals to children, adults and fans alike looking for beautiful design objects that can stay with them throughout their lives.
Kay Bojesen is the story of one of the strongest and most loved brands in Danish design history, with classics in a class of their own. A creative, playful filled with love and the highest quality in sustainable materials. With smiling lines and unique shapes, Kay Bojesen turned wood into original stories that appealed to all generations.
Kay Bojesen’s story
How it all began
Kay Bojesen graduated as a silversmith in 1910 after completing his apprenticeship with the silversmith Georg Jensen. He was one of the first Danish craftsmen to be fascinated by functionalism, and he was among the initiators of “Den Permanente” - a shop and showcase that for decades represented the best in Danish and Scandinavian design.
In the 1930s, Kay Bojesen began to seriously cultivate his interest in working with wood. He created a series of wooden animals that lived up to his philosophy that design should be round, soft and feel good in your hand.
He didn't want to create faithful replicas of real-life animals – not too sophisticated nor too detailed. Instead, he wanted to create imaginative variations in a design that was based on a child's perspectives where the “lines must smile”. The wooden toys should be simple, sturdy and inspire play.
With these basic ideas as a starting point, Kay Bojesen created his beloved wooden figures that appeal to the child in all of us and have ended up being design icons today.
In his lifetime, Kay Bojesen was considered to represent the fun side of Danish arts and crafts. Today, Kay Bojesen is one of Denmark’s biggest design names and his crafts are some of the most sought-after in Danish design.
Kay Bojesen kept his childish curiosity and joie de vivre until the very end. He died at the age of 72, leaving behind a significant design legacy. A legacy that is now protected by his family.
The Rosendahl Design Group is grateful for being chosen by the Bojesen family to develop, produce and distribute their grandfather’s beloved designs. Since Kay Bojesen’s legendary store in Bredgade closed back in 1990, production of several of his products has ceased. It is therefore a great pleasure for the Rosendahl Design Group to be able to re-introduce several of Kay Bojesen’s fantastic older designs according to their original drawings and with great respect for Kay Bojesen’s high demands for material and craftsmanship.
Kay Bojesen creates original and vibrant stories in wood
Designs that are born from humour and imagination are perhaps best exemplified in the Kay Bojesen's many different wooden figures. These beloved wooden figures appeal to the child in all of us.
The iconic Monkey
The most famous of all Kay Bojesen’s figures, the Monkey, was born in 1951. The little wooden monkey that made Kay Bojesen so famous actually came about when the designer wanted to make a hook to hang the children’s jackets on. Instead, it ended up as a piece of iconic Danish art. At whatever stage of your life you come across the monkey, he will soon become a friend for life and a beloved design icon in your home.
It is in this crossfield between functionality, aesthetics and imagination that we strive to continue Kay Bojesen's joy and work and bring it to homes all over the world.
When we renew the classic designs Kay Bojesen made, it is always with respect and an eye for traditions. The relaunched Marine, for example, is designed with exactly the same basic shape as the original figure – tall, proud and charming, with the head slightly tilted. The details of the painting and the position of the eyes have been slightly adjusted, but with great respect for the original design. However, the figure is still as simple, stylish and iconic as the original. The uniform is navy blue, and the distinctive collar with the white stripes is painted by hand with great precision, just like the rest of the figure.
The world of Kay Bojesen is not one you ever grow out of. It’s a world you keep growing with. The aesthetics and materials are long-lasting, which is also why Monkey and the other characters have a special knack in capturing our hearts.
Kay Bojesen connects past, present and future
Meanwhile, we're also ahead at the future and we want our products to be able to keep up with the times. Inspired by the current era we live in, Kay Bojesen Denmark has launched a panda in FSCTM-certified wood, inspired by two pandas who came to the Copenhagen zoo in 2019. With the typical and distinctive panda features, Kay Bojesen's Denmark Panda has its very own charisma.
The panda’s cute tumbler body is shaped after Kay Bojesen's Bear, and dressed in black and white colours, creating a new yet original design with all that famous Bojesen charm.
Kay Bojesen was passionate about anything that made children and the young at heart happy. And this is probably also why his designs have a specical place in the hearts of the many people who grew up with them. Especially in the Nordic countries, where the iconic wooden figures are given as gifts for christenings, confirmations and birthdays and naturally become part of the family. True to Kay Bojesen’s DNA, most of our products and figures are designed to be passed down through the line – and thus the magical world of Kay Bojesen continues to bring joy to generation after generation.
Brand traits: What do they each mean?
Kay Bojesen’s iconic brand is based on a solid foundation of values and a unique approach to design that has made our products popular year after year. Our strong foundations underpins the way we run our brand, design and product development. We always follow the times and bring new ideas to life, but it is equally important to us to stick to traditions and look back to the core values that Kay Bojesen stood for. Here are some of our special traits.
Our special traits
Original stories in wood
Original Danish design
Delivery within 1–8 business days
Free shipping on orders from € 85
30-day return policy
Free gift wrapping with purchases from € 80
We preserve and develop Danish design icons so that both present and future products can be part of the brands that have helped create our Danish design culture.