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Our history

A long tradition of

Gustaf Eriksson was trained in metalworking and specialised in the manufacture of tiled stove doors, and it was not until his son Axel Eriksson took over the company in 1885 that Gense made the momentous decision to expand the range with the addition of silver cutlery.

Both Gustaf Eriksson and Axel Eriksson unfortunately died just a few years apart in the 1890s, and it was not until the mid-1910s, when Arvid Hedlund and his son Lars took the helm, that Gense began to evolve once again – new machines and manufacturing methods as well as a renewed product range were added, and in 1915 the production of tableware and silver cutlery began, much of which was intended for the restaurant market.


The heyday of the production of silver cutlery began in the late 1800s. Prior to then, silver was only for the bourgeoisie and too expensive for average people. However, with industrialisation came the opportunity to make silverware on assembly lines, and that made it accessible to all. At the same time, silver was of enduring value and therefore something that was passed on to the next generation.

Each piece of cutlery passes through up to 30 different stages before it is considered finished. The raw material is forged, ornamented, soldered, buffed and polished, and a number of the processes are done by hand.

Stainless steel
becomes popular

Lars Hedlund was a man of the future. He worked hard to make stainless steel as accepted in Swedish households as tableware in nickel and silver. In 1929, Gense established its first collaboration with a designer, Viking Göransson, and
the 1930s saw the beginning of the production of stainless steel cutlery. It was an epochal moment. Sales were strong, and subsequent years saw a number of collaborations with renowned Swedish designers. Gense had become one of
the first companies to collaborate in a meaningful way with artists in terms of product design.

Synergy between arts, crafts and technique
The collaborations contributed to the company’s massive success. The challenge lay in showing that stainless steel not only represented quality, but also had beauty. During the 1930s, the company succeeded in getting restaurants to embrace stainless steel, and after the second world war, interest in stainless products also began to grow in private homes.

People wanted something that was new, beautiful and modern.

In 1940, Folke Arström was hired as artistic director, which became another instrumental moment in setting the company’s design direction. One of Folke Arström’s first tasks, together with goldsmith David Stegler, was to
develop a new and modern collection of stainless steel cutlery.

The result was Thebe (launched in 1944), a collection comprising more than 130 different cutlery and serving pieces. The inspiration for the design was taken from ancient Egypt, and the collection was described as classically pure, cultured and modern.

The golden age

The period from 1955-1965 has been hailed as a golden age for Swedish cutlery production in stainless steel. It began with the H55 exhibition in Helsingborg,
a world’s fair of architecture, design, arts and crafts. At H55, Gense garnered a great deal of recognition for its stainless steel products. Also included in H55 was Folke Arström’s all-new Focus de Luxe cutlery in stainless steel with handles in black plastic, which became a huge success and won international fame. The inspiration came from the streamlined shape of fast cars and airplanes, and the distinctive design idiom appealed to both royal and foreign celebrities who bought the Focus de Luxe when they visited Stockholm.

The combination of stainless steel and hard plastic aimed squarely at the zeitgeist. The 1950s were one long design boom, the space age was on the threshold, and optimism for the future was limitless. The postwar period provided fertile ground for designing and manufacturing products at prices that were affordable for everyone. And when film star Grace Kelly and other
celebrities bought Focus de Luxe cutlery with its black plastic handles, success was assured. Focus de Luxe attracted so much attention that the cutlery sold out before it reached stores in the United States.

Design classics

In the intervening years up to the present day, much has taken place in the design and manufacture of cutlery and silverware. However, Gense’s collaboration with the best designers is still a vital part of its DNA, and over
the years, these collaborations have led to the most successful and innovative cutlery classics in both silver and stainless steel. Designs that contributed to setting the standard within Scandinavian design, and of which many collections are still in production – side by side with those created by new, contemporary designers.

A glance at Gense’s range tells the story of the most popular cutlery of all time. Fuga, Twist, Pantry, Steel Line, Focus de Luxe, Dorotea and Old Farmer steak cutlery are some of the best-selling cutlery collections that still delight diners at tables worldwide.

Gense today
At Gense, only the best materials are used in the production of silver and stainless steel, and each piece of cutlery passes through up to 30 different stages before the final polishing. This assures that the highest quality is
achieved, and whatever cutlery you decide on, you can be certain that it is a combination of functional design and premium quality. This is exactly what characterises Gense and which is why we say it is “Designed to make you proud”.