May
28
2009

Investing In One Good Swedish Antique

I know very little about antiques in general but I do know a little bit about Swedish antiques. I was surrounded by them growing up and I have had my own antique import business. Now I am just an avid collector (hoping for a good lottery win so I can go to my secrets spots in Sweden and buy more!)

My personal design style is to mix very old with very new. I love real contrasts. I can’t think of any other antique style that mixes so well with a contemporary style as the old Swedish – particularly the “simple gray period” 1750 – 1850. Furniture was painted gray before and long after the internationally recognized “Swedish Gustavian” period (1771-1792).

When people ask me what Swedish antique to invest in, I always say start with something simple. I would suggest a good quality sideboard/buffet, a quality bench with upholstery or a quality 3 drawer chest (each preferably with its original paint although they are rare since most of these pieces have been repainted (often many times over) in the 19th century and early 20th centuries). These items are attractive & functional. They are easy to place, easy to sell and  will only go up in value (even if the price tag most often is steep from the beginning).

If you don’t buy them directly from Sweden then there are several professional and really great stores in the US focusing on Swedish antiques. You will want to work with people who live and breathe Swedish antiques and who travel to Sweden to hand pick their pieces (and are, if needed, willing to learn from Swedish experts). Do your research well and you may end up with a really lovely Swedish companion that will be treasured for generations.

Pictures of inventory – (from top):  Lief Almont, Avolli, Evergreen Antiques and Tone-on-Tone.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Simply Swedish Style | Tags:

6 Comments

  • What a lovely post…and you are so right; a beautiful sideboard, chest or bench is sometimes all one needs in a room to give it that gorgeous Swedish look.

    I will also suggest a Swedish Mora clock to people who want a Swedish look but may only have one piece. They are so stately and distinctive that there is no mistaking their provenance.

    There is also nothing quite like a true antique. The value of the antique will last long after the small savings of a reproduction…so many don’t understand this and are blinded by the savings in the moment and don’t see the monetary appreciation in the long term.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful article and for including Avolli. We are honored.

    My best,
    Tricia
    http://www.avolli.com

  • lotta says:

    This makes me home sick. I have a corner cabinet from my grandmother that’s in the same shade of gray as the dresser above. It is my most priced possession. Thanks for sharing.

  • Monika says:

    Tricia,

    You are welcome! I might twist and turn when it comes to interior design – but I always remain loyal to “my” Swedish antiques.

    I got several e-mails from antique dealers in Sweden, which surprised me since my blog is so new, and I really have not done much marketing yet. But they were all happy!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Monika

  • Monika says:

    Lotta,

    You are lucky! Treasure your cabinet! Monika

  • kiki alvord says:

    Monika,
    I love your blog and your fun and diplomatic gentle way of teaching the Americans about our wonderful furniture and our culture and style on the whole.

    Oh, how I wholeheartedly agree with Tricia @ Avolli, who bye the way, has some beautiful Swedish good examples from the Gustavian era.

    However, IF you do not have the vast monetary needs for the REAL thing, I would like, as a Swedish importer of these wonderful furniture up here in the NW, to suggest to anyone that STILL wants this lovely airy style in their home to invest in the real Swedish furniture making.
    High quality hardwood, excellent hand carving, and done in an old traditional craftsmanship, which is still going strong and has never stopped.
    Why buy bad copiesfrom the Far East, when you can own “Tomorrows Antiques”.
    Kram, KIKI

  • LLOYD RYDER says:

    Starting out I would defininitely buy an antique Swedish long case clock.
    They stand out and they represent “Class” in the country vane. Then, one large piece, armoire etc, and build from there. Chairs, buffet, occasional table and so on.
    Original paint is preferable but “taken down” to the original or an old over paint is now acceptable. I don’t accept recent painted pieces, then you are starting to move to the “chabby chic” taste. Swedish antiques give your home a touch of “distinction”.

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