The Royal Copenhagen factory was founded in 1 May 1775 by Queen Juliane Marie. It was her idea that three waves should be a mark of newly established factory. These three waves are a symbol of three Danish straits:
- the Øresund,
- the Great Belt,
- the Little Belt.
First manager of the factory, Frantz Heinrich Müller, was given a 50-year monopoly to create porcelain. In 1790, Royal Copenhagen brought out the Flora Danica ‘Blue Fluted’ dinner service, with gilded edge and Danish flora motifs. In 1868 royal companies were privatized. As a result, the Royal Porcelain Factory came into private hands. In 1882 it was purchased by the faience factory Aluminia.
The waves are still painted on the back of each piece of porcelain created in the Royal Copenhagen factory. Another part of the mark is the royal crown. It is a symbol of company's origin. In the beggining the crown was hand painted but in 1870s, the mark began to be stamped under the glaze. The crown is additionally decorated with the "Dagmar Cross", a jewelled crucifix dating from the Middle Ages that was discovered in 1690.
In 20th and 21st century, the company's ownership passed from hands to hands. Royal Copenhagen porcelain is now produced in Thailand.
Royal Copenhagen Denmark 1975 - 1979 mark (a bar below a letter E in a COPENHAGEN word).
1992 - 1999 Royal Copenhagen mark (a bar above letters R and Y in ROYAL).
1980 - 1984 Royal Copenhagen Denmark mark (a bar below second N in COPENHAGEN).