About søe-jensen & Co.
Our motto is “Beauty lies in the detail, and we cherish it,” Quote: Christian Westergaard, who is the current owner of Søe-Jensen & Co.
Søe-Jensen & Co. has existed since 1862 and has for more than 150 years primarily produced brass door handles and fittings for many larger buildings around Denmark. Read more about Søe-Jensen below.
Our history with Søe-Jensen & Co, has roots dating back to 1924.
In 1924, business manager Elo Birkvang was hired, and it was he who later trained my father, Henrik Westergaard, when he was hired in 1963. At that time I am 1 year old.
Birkvang stays in the company until 1965, when he retires.
My father ends up buying Søe-Jensen and Co. in 1985, where he looks after the business until his retirement in 2019.
My journey starts in the early 90’s where I go to Poland to build and manage the production according to the old craft principles.
It is still the production that forms the framework for all the products Søe-Jensen and Co. sells today.
I will take over Søe-Jensen after my father in 2019, and have since then been undergoing an extensive renovation so the business is both state-of-the-art, but where it preserves the proud craftsmanship, with the very special craftsmanship and design.
OUR BRASS DOOR LEVERS HAVE BEEN OPENING DOORS SINCE 1862
The year is 1862, the place is Copenhagen. The ramparts have lost their military significance and have just been demolished, because the city has growing pains, the bridge districts are burgeoning, and for most people, transportation means walking on foot, or perhaps an occasional ride on one of the modern horse-drawn trams. A very different Copenhagen from the one we know today, but one thing hasn’t changed: you can still find a shop with the name Søe-Jensen & Co., and as it did then, the shop still sells sand cast brass door levers from its own production.
Back then, the full name of the company was “Copenhagen’s Door Lever and Metal Goods Factory. Hansen and Søe-Jensen.” It was a decent-sized business and actual factory with a unique and fixed assortment of goods, unlike smaller brass finishers.
PART OF CULTURAL HISTORY AND PART OF MANY JOURNEYS
Already in the early years around the turn of the century, Søe-Jensen & Co. was also supplying many of the large construction projects characteristic of an expanding Copenhagen: When the New Theatre was being built in 1907, they chose the classic brass door levers “Brown”. The Genon lever was supplied for Bispebjerg Hospital in 1912 (Architect Martin Nyrop)
A smaller task, but of equal cultural-historical importance, was when Søe-Jensen & Co. by request of Knud Rasmussen in 1917 designed brass door levers and door knockers shaped like a characteristic walrus for use in the polar explorer’s new home near Hundested. Since the house was built, the front door has been replaced twice, while the brass door lever and door knocker have been reused and, in fact, look even more beautiful and patinated, which is concrete proof of the incredible durability that is the hallmark of all products from Søe-Jensen & Co. You can read the entire story about Knud Rasmussen’s front door here, and of course you can also purchase your very own brass door lever right here.
The products from Søe-Jensen & Co. have also been used among others outside the cultural elite: For many years, our privacy lock with the messages “occupied” (“optaget”) and “vacant” (“fri”) greeted railway passengers on the Danish State Railways who had to go.
ADDRESSES AND CHAMPIONS
Over the years, Søe-Jensen & Co. has been located at various addresses in Copenhagen, just as the company has been championed by various people.
The very year when the walrus door lever was brought into the world in 1917, “Hansen” decided to withdraw from the company, which thus changed its name to the current Søe-Jensen & Co.
The factory facilities have been located in several places, such as Amager and later on Godthåbsvej in Frederiksberg.
In the 1920’s, the factory and the shop were split up when Søe-Jensen & Co. opened their own store. First at Skindergade 39 downtown, in the 1960’s at Gråbrødretorv 8, for the past 20 years in Kompagnistræde, and since 2020 we have been located at Amaliegade 4.