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Royal Copenhagen was founded in 1775 by Juliane Marie, Queen of Denmark and Norway. Known originally as the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory, it was among the first European factories to manufacture true porcelain from kaolin clay. Royal Copenhagen’s first plate pattern was called Blue Fluted, a response to Europe’s ongoing fascination with blue and white porcelain from China. Blue Fluted features a hand-painted design in brilliant blue, a color made of cobalt zinc silicate and prized for its vibrancy, and it has been in continuous production since 1775. Authentic Royal Copenhagen porcelain is easily identified by a hand-painted maker’s mark of three wavy lines, which represent the three major waterways of Denmark. Royal Copenhagen’s product line is still squarely focused on fine dining, with collections of dinner plates, bowls, teacups, mugs and saucers in the company’s signature blue as well as an array of modern colors and patterns. Perhaps the best-loved pieces are the company’s teapots, which feature delicate handles with a classic pointed angle. Collectors also seek out Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates, which have featured a different holiday-themed design each year since 1908. The company destroys the mold after production, so Christmas plates are inherently valuable as they can never be reproduced.