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Swedish Antique & Old

Swedish symbol from a photograph from a Danish castle

This page will be dedicated to Swedish and Scandinavian furniture periods & styles and will provide information about Swedish antiques

Swedish Furniture Periods

Period: Year: Period: Year:
  • Baroque
  • Late Baroque
  • Rococo
  • Gustavianskt
  • Empire:  Karl Johan
  • 1660 - 1720
  • 1720 - 1750
  • 1750 - 1775
  • 1775 - 1810
  • 1810 - 1830
  • New Styles:( new of former list )
  • Jugend
  • Allmoge - Scandic. Folk painted furniture.
  • 1830-  1895
  • 1895 - 1915
  • 1600's to present

Other Scandinavian periods coming soon.........................................

Swedish Antiques
Sweden has thousands of years of antique related history of its own.  Swedish style is simple, refreshing and practical. Here are a few of the typically Swedish antiques that you can find in Sweden.

"Gungstol" / Swedish Rocking Chair
Swedish rocking chairs/gungstols were traditional painted black with gold outlining. the entire chair and painted designs were often put in the seat and head areas. Anything from nature related to angelic scenes were dipicted on the chairs. The styles and form varies somewhat. Some were even made in childrens sizes. 6 legged Swedish rocking chairs/Gungstols were made between 1830 until the mid 1800's while the 4 legged ones were made until the early 1900's.

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                          1830 Gungstol/Swedish Rocking Chair                          Later

"Köksoffa" / Swedish Kitchen Sofa
The Swedish Kitchen sofa is an example of practical Swedish design and originates from the 1700's. This sofa could be used during the day as a regular sofa then pulled out at night to be used as a bed. There are many variations of this sofa. Usually the sofas were painted white or different colors, had a light wooden or dark wooden pantina with varied backings. The dotted line in the pictures shows where a seat should be. Not all Swedish Kitchen sofas / köksoffas were used as sofas some were only used as beds. Today Swedish kitchen sofas are used to store linen or as extra sleeping areas and are usually placed in the kitchen or extra bedroom.

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How to tell when a chair / Gustavianskt chair was made.
The red dotted lines show where the frame was commonly seperated. So if its a straight vertical cut then its most likely produced  in the 1700's and if its cut diagonally it was most likely produced in the 1800's. Copies could have variations.

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Scandinavian Antiques
Other Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland also have a rich antique tradition.

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Sweden has a history of folk painting dating back over 100 years.  In this section I will discuss antique Swedish folk & tole painting. Here are some facts.

  • Allmoge furniture first came in intense blue & black colors with a lot of whites then light blue then gradually earth and mineral colors became more popular, gold, brown, red, & green.

  • In the past combs and fingers were used to decorate allmoge furniture in Sweden.

  • At the beganning of the 1800's the color "ultramarine" was a very popular color to paint allmoge furniture.

  • At the end of the 1800's imitation  stone painting and marble painting became popular on allmoge furniture.

  • Grey/white are typical furniture colors for antique Västerbotten (Northern Sweden) furniture

Scandinavian Linen & Lace

Sweden has a long history of stiching, cross stiching, embroidery, lace working, fine Linen, etc.  Here are some beautiful examples of antique linen and embroidery.


Made by a child in school in 1907

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Cross stiching and lace edging on linen

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Swedish Porcelain

Sweden has a long history of porcelain making to and below are some examples of it.

Part of a spice rack set

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3 crowns Swedens national symbol!

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Tips & Ideas:

Cleaning old white marble: Use bleach and water to clean marble.
Cleaning Linen & Lace: use stain removers or try to get the stains out with  soap or bleach,  try lemon juice hand wash!
Reupholster furniture with antique embroidered linen: If furniture fits the style of the embroidery use it!
To make  furniture look old fashioned: Use antique handles/knobs/painting effects like wax under an area before

you paint to get the distressed look.  Use ageing solutionsor  wood decorations that can be found at hardware stores.
"Cleaning sick glass": Use concentrated bleach or white vinegar, let set for a day or two

Definition of "Allmoge" - Swedish and Scandinavian Folk Painted furniture mostly produced in Sweden and Norway but can also be found in other Nordic countries like Denmark and maybe some in Iceland & Finland.  This furniture was primarily painted by farmers and peasants during the Baroque & Rococo periods.

Definition of "Empire: Karl Johan:" - A period that was very much influenced by the french Napoleanic empire.   "Jean Baptist Bernadotte" came to Sweden from France to become the next King of Sweden then changed his name to "Karl Johan"

Definition of "Gustavianskt" - Gustav III inspired antique furniture.  He is the Swedish King that brought "true" culture to Sweden and was heavily influenced by the classical periods, the french style, and rococo.

At auctions if you see a tag that says "Gustavianskt" it means the piece of furniture is an original Gustavianskt but if you see a tag with "Gustavianskt Style" it means its a later copy of the original Gustavianskt style.

Types of wood in Sweden - (Skogsstyrelsen)

Broadleaves: Coniferous:
Birch - two species
Alder - two species
European Aspen
Oak - two species
European Beech
Linden ( lime ) - two species
Elm - three species
Gean ( Wild Cherry )
Goat Willow
Scots Pine
Norway Spruce

A lot of foreign trees can grow in Sweden  but of economical interest are
European Larch, Contorta - Pine ( from North Am. )and Sycamore - maple
from Germany. ( Thank you Gustaf Hamilton for this in depth information!)
Buying antique and old furniture is a good form of recycling and helps to save our depleted forests!

My favorite kinds of Swedish antiques: Kitchen sofas (köksoffan), Swedish rocking chairs (Gungstol), Swedish Grandfather clock (farfars klocken or Mora klockan)

Tile Fireplaces / Kakelugnen

Rococo 1740-80

Rococo 1740-80 foot made of wood or iron,  colored and sometimes has flowers.

Gustaviansk 1770-1800

Gustaviansk Stil 1770-1800 either has white glazed tile or decorated with flowers

Late Empire 1840-70

Late Empire Senempire 1840-70 white and clear glazes on the tiles.

New Renaisance 1870-90

New Renaisance 1870-90 usually nice white tiles

Jugend 1890-1910

Jugend 1890-1910


National Romantic 1890-1920

National Romantic 1890-1920

Varied Decor and Crown 1900

1900 - Tal the crown and decor can vary

17th Century Inspired 1900-40

1900-40 inspired by the 17c. often white

Swedish Auction Houses

Name Address   /    city in "(  )" Telephone if out of .se dial +46
Stockholms Auctionsverk AB
Bruun Rasmussen Art Auctions
Bukowski Auktioner AB
Christie's Scandinavia
Falkkloos Auktioner
Lilla Bukowskis
Nordén Auktioner AB
Philips Fine Art Auctioneers
Rasmusson Claës Göran
Söderköpings Auktionskam.
Sotheby's Scandinavia AB
Jakobsgatan 10 (Stockholm)
Birger Jarsgatan 2      ""
Arsenalsgatan 4         ""
Sturegatan 26             ""
Artillerigatan 2           ""
Humlegardsgatan 13  ""
Arsenalsgatan 4         ""
Arsenalsgatan 1         ""
Grevgatan 6                ""
Götgatan 107              ""
N. Mälarstrand 32      ""
Arsenalsgatan 6          ""
08-453 67 00
08-611 89 00
08-614 08 00
08-62 01 31
08-663 05 50
08-661 74 50
08-614 08 00
08-678 88 00
08-660 23 50
08-640 42 50
08-654 56 16
08-679 54 78

Swedish Antique related Links

Scandinavian Antiques:

Swedish Crafts:

Swedish Antiques:

How to create the look of the Swedish countryside style:Important fabrics are the checkered blue & white, gold & white, red & white, pink & white mixes along with the same colored mixtures but with stripes like a red and white striped or blue and white striped fabric.  With these fabric color mixes you can create the Swedish country look quickly by covering chairs, making tablecloths, napkins, curtains, bed sheets, etc with the fabric. Striped fabric should have thick stripes! 

How to create the Swedish country kitchen: Collect wooden spoons, scoops, rolling pins, copper pans and cake forms, copper coffee kettles. copper and tin spoons and hang them from the ceiling on a metal frame or place them on metal hooks in your kitchen. You can also hang porcelain on plate hangers or get a traditional wooden plate rack to display your porcelain.

To get the Gustavianskt look: Paint interior walls pale grey, pale blue, or pale yellow, if you can't find authentic Swedish or Scandinavian antique furniture use doweled country chairs and tables and leave them with a "light" wooden finish, white wash or just paint the furniture white because during the Gustavianskt period much of the furniture was painted greyish white.

Window treatments: Use white lace or light white fabric and swag it across windows.

Photos & drawings © copyright Kathleen Ann Trujillo
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