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Swedish Antiques

How To Buy Antiques in Sweden

What Will $100K Buy in Sweden?

How To Buy Antiques in Sweden   

Antiques Diva Guide Daniel Larsson

Antiques Diva Guide Daniel Larsson

If you’re an antiques dealer wanting to buy antiques to stock your store, it’s hard to know how far the US dollar will go when buying antiques abroad – especially when you’re sourcing high-end Swedish antiques, which are the most prestigious and best quality of European antiques – but also the most expensiveDaniel Larsson is our native-born Swedish Divo Guide. Daniel enjoys helping clients find the right piece at their desired price point. With his extensive travel including trips to the US, England, India, Norway, Spain and Holland, Daniel comes to the table with an international mindset. When he’s not guiding Diva clients, he runs a very successful business called D.LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel which deals in fine Swedish antiques ranging from 18th to late 19th century, specializing in high-quality Rococo and Gustavian painted furniture, Swedish country & decorative items. Daniel’s extensive knowledge of Swedish antiques is a huge asset to our company and to any client who books a tour with him, as he is sure to pass on some of his wonderful insights.

When antique dealers come overseas to buy antiques to fill a container with European antiques purchases to stock their store they often come to me with a budget of anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000. Their goal is usually to multiply their purchase cost 3 to 5 times.

We asked our Sweden Antiques Expert Divo Daniel, What can an antiques dealer buy in Sweden for $100,000? 

Daniel recommends dealers stocking their store with Swedish antiques buy at least 30% STATEMENT PIECES – these are higher priced items and higher end in terms of quality – that will help establish your reputation as a dealer.   

Also, remember when doing display space – Swedish antiques need air to breathe… room around them to look their best. And with your display space you’ve got the room to create the environment needed to set the tone of the collective!

Antiques Diva Tip:

Mix Mid-Century Modern in with these Period Pieces to Make Both Periods Pop.
Eclectic Mix of Perfectly Paired Contrasting Inventory Draws a Crowd.

General Price Points

  • Pair of Arm Chairs $4000 – $6000
  • Chest of Drawers (veneered) $3000 – $6000
  • Cabinet $4000 – $5000
  • Buffet $2500 – $4000
  • Mirrors $2500 – $3500
  • Sofa $2500 – $4000
  • Console tables $3000 – $5000
  • Chairs $1000 – $2000 
How to Buy Antiques in Sweden: Swedish Rococo Mirror

Swedish Rococo Mirror


Antiques Diva Tip:

For mirrors I often recommend clients go France as the price point on French mirrors is much lower than on Swedish – similar age and style for half the price.

Convert US Dollar to Swedish KronaTo Stock Swedish Inventory in Your Store

You should consider stocking 3 kinds of Swedish pieces:

1. Period – Original Paint

2. Period – Repainted, Scraped, Retouched

3. Finer Statement Pieces

So much of what is on the market in the USA is “style” pieces – pieces that look like the period, but aren’t of the period. You want to be known for having REAL ANTIQUES. You want to set the bar that you are offering the best antiques money can buy. In my opinion the best quality – with the best profit margin – is Swedish. 

How to buy antiques in Sweden: It's all in the details.

It’s all in the details.

To learn about Swedish antiques, read ANTIQUES DIVA MASTER CLASS WITH DANIEL LARSSONGuide to Gustavian Antiques

Stay Tuned to Learn More Details about the upcoming Master Class Daniel and I will be leading at Dallas Market Center this June 2017.

How Much Can I Buy?

If you budget $100K to fill a 40-foot container, you can get approximately 50 Swedish pieces, including a combination of top quality statement pieces as well as a wide variety of excellent quality mid-range 17th and 18th C  period pieces.

Here is a sample client budget for buying antiques inventory in Sweden:

30% STATEMENT PIECES
Price Range for Higher Priced Items and Higher End Quality

  • Pair of Arm Chairs $4000 – $6000
  • Chest of Drawers (veneered) $3000 – $6000
  • Cabinet $4000 – $5000
  • Buffet $2500 – $4000
  • Mirrors $2500 – $3500
  • Sofa $2500 – $4000
  • Console tables $3000 – $5000
  • Chairs $1000 – $2000 

Statement Pieces You Can Buy

  • 1 x Pair of Arm Chairs $5000
  • 1 x Chest of Drawers (veneered) 5000
  • 1 x Cabinet $4000
  • 1 x Buffet $3000
  • 1 x Mirror $3000
  • 1 x Sofa $3500
  • 1 x Console table $5000
  • 1 x set of 8 chairs $8000 

SubTotal: $36,500  –  Approx 8 – 10 important pieces 

70% NICE QUALITY PIECES 

  • Cabinet ca  $2000 – $3000  
  • Chest of Drawers $1000 – $2000 
  • Tables ca Prices $500 – $1500
  • Sofa $1500 – $2500
  • Buffet $1000 – $2500 
  • Mirrors $1500 – $2500
  • Chairs 500 – 1000 (per chair) 

Nice Quality Pieces You Can Buy

  • 5 x Cabinets ca $12500  
  • 5 x Chest of Drawers $8000
  • 10 x Tables (includes side table and console) ca Prices $10000
  • 5 x Sofa $12500
  • 5 x Buffet $10000 
  • 5 x Mirrors $10000
  • two sets of Chairs of 6 – 8 $12000

SubTotal: $75,000  –   Approx 35 – 40 Pieces

TOTAL  – $100,000K  –  Approximately 50 Pieces Total

How to Buy Antiques in Sweden: Swedish Rococo Sofa, Ca 1760

Swedish Rococo Sofa, Ca 1760.

What will it cost to ship these pieces to the US?

Assuming you’re shipping a 40-foot container and crate a lot of what’s going in the container, it’s a safe assumption to budget approximately €15K for shipping 1 exceedingly well container door to door. Granted –prices vary – so this is just a guideline – you could save thousands depending on your packing needs.


Convert Euro to Dollar

How long after my Antiques Diva buying tour will it take to receive my purchases?

Estimated lead time from payment of vendors: 2 – 3 weeks for collection and preparation + 25 days transit time + door transport.

  • handling + container traction harbor € 700,00
  • unloading collections + storage + charging packed goods into container € 1.100,00
  • export packing /m3 € 45,00   OR
  • crating for fragile items (based upon level of protection and m3) /m3 € 60,00-150,00
  • fumigation (if needed: based upon nature of shipped goods)   € 200,00-400,00
  • weighing container (for customs)     € 145,00
  • ocean freight (port-port)  Europe – US 40-ft € 3.400,00
  • insurance   1,50%
  • banking on behalf of buyer: included

Does not include duties and import taxes, demurrage or unloading at destination.

Antiques Diva Buying Services

This is what it looks like when a 40-foot container filled with Swedish Antiques arrives at a client’s shop!

How do I price Swedish antiques for sale in the US?  

We are not antiques dealers, but we work closely with dealers and designers to buy European antiques and negotiate the best price possible. Based on our experience, we find that dealers typically sell their pieces for at least 3 times over the purchase price. 

Interested in booking an Antiques Diva Sweden Buying Tour? Email toma@antiquesdiva.com to schedule a phone call to discuss your needs.

Toma – The Antiques Diva® 

 

What Differentiates Swedish Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

While Swedish antiques are trending they’ve always been en vogue in my book. In Europe each country had their own distinct styles and when examining antiques you can identify their origin by their region or culture. We asked our Antiques Diva Guide in Sweden, antiques dealer Daniel Larsson, to help us understand what distinguishes Swedish antiques from other European antiques.

What Differentiates Swedish Antiques

Daniel Larsson explains: When talking about Swedish antiques the most representative period is the 18th Century with its Rococo and Gustavian styles. Named after King Gustav III of Sweden, Gustavian pieces have strong influences of neoclassical French design as well as Italian classicism. King Gustave III spent a lot of time in France. He was very interested in arts and clothes, architecture, style and design. He was very influenced by the French Neoclassical designs and he brought this style to Sweden, simplifying it with cleaner lines.

What Differentiates Swedish Antiques

Compared to French antiques however, Swedish antiques are very similar, but they are more rare because there were less that were made. French pieces often have a lot of intricate detail, and while Swedish pieces were similarly made, they were not as heavily ornamented. Swedish craftsmen focussed on quality and cleaner lines rather than an abundance of carving.

What Differentiates Swedish Antiques simple lines

English antiques are complete opposites to Swedish antiques. The style is completely different English antiques are traditionally made of dark more exotic woods because England had colonies in several regions.

However, as with any country’s antiques, many have been exported to various countries. It’s important to educate yourself about Swedish antiques before purchasing them in any country because provenance plays a huge part when it comes to price.

What Differentiates Swedish Antiques Swedish chair

The reason Swedish chairs, for instance, can be more pricey than the French chairs, is that not a lot of dealers possess original Swedish chairs. Even Swedish dealers pay a lot of money for original chairs. However, it can be a benefit to purchase Swedish antiques in Sweden because these Swedish dealers can typically tell the difference between original and 19th century reproductions which have been made in the Gustavian style. Foreign dealers often cannot tell the difference between original Gustavian pieces and 19th century reproductions, which results in higher prices being charged for reproductions.

Knowing the difference between an original chair and a chair re-made of old pieces can mean the difference between paying a few hundred Euro to several thousand Euro. Knowledge truly is power and that’s why we’re so fortunate to have Daniel as out expert in this field!

We offer 1 day and 2 day antique buying tours in Sweden to antique dealers that specialize in furniture and decorative items. We will to take our clients to various types of sources, from smaller antique dealers within beautiful settings to larger trade dealers with 3000 square meters of space. We also know places that are like secret pearls such as one dealer that has restored a beautiful mansion to it’s original glory and has filled it with the highest quality antiques. Places like this are must visits— the type of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that The Antiques Diva & Co loves to give our clients. To book a tour email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

The Antiques Diva®

Swedish Cupboards

Dear Diva Readers,

W hile my Diva Guides and I love taking clients on antiques buying tours throughout Europe, did you know we also offer buying services for those time when you can’t shop abroad?

Whether a client doesn’t have time to take a trip to Europe or if they simply want to source a few pieces for a project, we act as the “man—or woman as the case may be—on the ground to help find exactly what our client needs. And like most shopaholics, we love a challenge. We recently had a client who is an interior designer in New York email us with a request. He was looking to source an antique Swedish cabinet for a project. His client had seen one she liked on an antiques website, no names mentioned, but didn’t want to pay the exuberant price. What attracted them to the cabinet was the patina and style. While they wanted something authentic that would retain its value, they also knew that they’d be utilizing the cabinet and would most likely need to adjust the interior – and they didn’t want to pay to high of a price for the piece.

x2

As soon as I received this request, I knew that our Swedish Antiques Divo Guide Daniel would be the person to contact. Of course Daniel quickly responded with this email:
“Authentic examples of antique Swedish cupboards like this with original paintwork have become increasingly rare. Much of the Swedish furniture currently available on the “antique” market has been comprehensively rebuilt and restored, often repainted in popular pale colours and sadly some of these created or “style” pieces are sold as period.
But we are in luck! I think I have found the perfect cabinet by reading your requests. I have found a fantastic Gustavian cabinet in excellent condition retaining it’s original paint (gray/blue). This piece has never been over painted and scraped which ads to it’s desirability, rarity and value. The Gustavian expressions are evident in the small tapered feet, restrained carved details and well balanced proportions. The price is 1/4 of the cabinet your client first saw. This piece is a very good investment in my opinion as the market prizes original paintwork when talking about Swedish painted furniture.”

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While I often say that the power of the internet is amazing and makes our job so efficient – I seriously could not do my job with out it – you also have to remember that computers are not people. Simply typing in a product that you want may pull up an item on your screen, but how can you be sure that you’re getting the best value or price? That’s where we come in time and time again by acting as our clients’ man on the ground and putting the word out to all out sources and physically eyeing pieces ourselves in person to give our opinion. Within no time, in this instance, we were able to find exactly what the client wanted at a quarter of the price (that’s including our Buying Services commission, by the way). With the right people, the internet can truly be a great tool!

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If you are interested in more information on our Antiques Diva Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

The Antiques Diva®

Malmo Decorative Fair in Sweden

Dear Diva Readers,

Being actively involved in the antiques industry in 8 European countries and having clients from the US, Australia, and Asia means that I keep close tabs on what’s happening in the antique and interior design community. Right now, open any top shelter magazine and you are guaranteed to see Swedish antiques strategically placed in beautifully appointed rooms. Our Swedish Guide Daniel Larsson is one of the leading antique dealers in Sweden with a gorgeous showroom and an international clientele. When Daniel contacted me to tell me that he was getting involved with the organization and promotion of the Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair I knew I needed to do some hands on research – so I booked myself on one of my own tours to shop the fair. And Mamma Mia (hey wait, aren’t these Abba folks Swedish?) was it divine!!! You have all the best of the Swedish dealers in one chic locale.

Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Larsson Interiors, Gail McLeod, Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair, First Dibs, Sourcing antiques in Sweden

Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Larsson Interiors, Gail McLeod, Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair, First Dibs, Sourcing antiques in Sweden

Naturally when shopping any antiques fair you don’t want to go when the mere mortals shop – you want advance access.  So we registered to attend trade day while the vendors are still unpacking their trucks and setting up their stalls.  This is not open to the public—which means we get FIRST DIBS on buying! We really got to see inventory at The Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair before it even opened! On day one we got a sneak peek at folk art, Swedish furniture, and decorative pieces that were of the highest quality as Malmo is the third largest antiques fair in Sweden with 80 dealers from all over the country – for those of you who are familiar with the Stockholm fair, rumor has it the Malmo Fair’s opening day revenue surpassed its big brother.

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These vendors sell to the international trade and possess a vast knowledge of Swedish antiques. Imagine having access to pieces that you’d be sure to see on the covers of magazines soon! That’s what Sweden’s antiques scene has to offer.  The international buyers on scene shopping were actually limited – often I go to a trade fair in the south of France and I feel like the whole of Houston has ended up there on the same day.  Not so in Malmo – there were only a handful of foreign buyers – so if you’re looking for exclusivity, here’s your chance to buy before any of your competitors have seen the inventory.  And as few of these dealers have websites selling online you get incredible, unheard of access.

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Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Larsson Interiors, Gail McLeod, Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair, First Dibs, Sourcing antiques in Sweden

The fair was located at Katrinetorp Landeri which is a mansion adjacent to Malmo. Comprised of several buildings dating to the early 1800s, this historic property  is the ideal setting for an antiques fair! My UK Diva Agent Gail McLeod is an avid gardener, and since she joined us at Malmo, taking a bus-mans holiday with me, we were also able to explore the house and several gardens which include a gentry garden, utility garden and an orangery all of which are community managed.

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Now the Malmo Fair is only once a year – next time you’ve got the chance to shop it is in the last weekend of August in 2016 (it’s held this same weekend every year – so mark your calendars darling).  But have no fear….  You DON’T HAVE to SHOP Sweden ONLY during the fair.  Did I mention we know all these vendors so you can shop them year round – visiting them in their personal homes and by-appointment-only stores, warehouses and boutiques – year round on one of our Antiques Diva Sweden Tours.  If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Sweden Tour, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to plan the perfect buying trip for you!

Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Larsson Interiors, Gail McLeod, Malmo Decorative Antiques Fair, First Dibs, Sourcing antiques in Sweden

As the Swedes say “Adjö”! Until next time,

The Antiques Diva®  

Swedish Cupboards

Dear Diva Readers,

While my Diva Guides and I love taking clients on antiques buying tours throughout Europe, did you know we also offer buying services? Whether a client doesn’t have time to take a trip to Europe or if they simply want to source a few pieces for a project, we act as the “man—or woman—on the ground” to help find exactly what our client needs. And like most shopaholics, we love a challenge. We recently had a client who is an interior designer in New York email us with a request. He was looking to source an antique Swedish cabinet for a project. His client had seen one she liked on an antiques website, but didn’t want to pay the exorbitant price. What attracted both of them to the cabinet was the patina and style. While they wanted something authentic that would retain its value, they also knew that they’d be utilizing the cabinet and would most likely need to adjust the interior.

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

As soon as I received this request, I knew that our Swedish Antiques Divo Guide Daniel would be the person to contact. Of course Daniel quickly responded with this email:

“Authentic examples of antique Swedish cupboards like this with original paintwork have become increasingly rare. Much of the Swedish furniture currently available on the “antique” market has been comprehensively rebuilt and restored,  often repainted in popular pale colours and sadly some of these created or “style” pieces are sold as period.

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

But we are in luck! I think i have found the perfect cabinet by reading your requests. I have found a fantastic Gustavian cabinet in excellent condition retaining it’s original paint (gray/blue). This piece has never been over painted and scraped which ads to its desirability, rarity and value. The Gustavian expressions are evident in the small tapered feet, restrained carved details and well-balanced proportions. The price is 1/4 of the cabinet your client first saw.  This piece is a very good investment in my opinion as the market prizes original paintwork when talking about Swedish painted furniture.”

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

While I often say that the power of the internet is amazing and makes our job so efficient, you have to remember that computers are not people. Simply typing in a product that you want may pull up an item on your screen, but how can you be sure that you’re getting the best value or price? That’s where we come in time and time again by acting as our clients’ man on the ground and putting the word out to all our sources. Within no time, in this instance, we were able to find exactly what the client wanted at a quarter of the price (that’s including our commission, by the way). With the right people, the internet can truly be a great tool!

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

If you are interested in more information on our Antiques Diva Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

The Antiques Diva® 

Mora Clocks From Sweden

Dear Diva Readers,

There are certain antique pieces that are synonymous with their country of origin and the Mora clock is one such piece, bringing to mind timeless (pun intended) Swedish design. Swedish Mora clocks are long case clocks which were made in the town of Mora in the Dalarna province. They were first produced in the late 18th century by farm families of this region. The people needed supplemental income, so each family began specializing in manufacturing a specific part or parts of the clock. Once a clock was finished, the buyer would typically commission a case to be made for it, according to his own specifications, and that is why there are so many subtle differences in each Mora clock. The clocks operate on an eight day movement and strike the hours on two bells which are mounted above the clock mechanism or on a spiral wire gong.

Mora Clocks, Swedish Clocks, Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours,

By the late 19th century. competition arose. German and American manufacturers could make Mora style clocks much more inexpensively, thus driving the cost down and eventually putting many local craftsmen out of business. The Mora style of clock is still being made and reinterpreted today –  it’s such a classic style that even IKEA makes their own version!  In my own home I have an Empire Mora clock and we’ve had a slew of clients purchase Gustavian pieces.

Mora Clocks, Swedish Clocks, Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours, IKEA clock

When looking for an antique version, be sure you know the difference between original and decorative. An original antique Mora clock will still have the original works and pendulum along with it’s original case. My own has the original glass which gives a beautiful wavy glint to the glass.  Sometimes the works have been replaced with a battery operated version, thus rendering the antique case simply decorative—which is fine as long as the price reflects that! It’s important to trust the dealer you’re purchasing from, as an expert eye can often tell whether a clock has been repaired, repainted or if it is a reproduction. All of these factors affect the value and the price!

Mora Clocks, Swedish Clocks, Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours,

Whether you are looking to add a Mora clock to a traditional interior or to a modern space, their classic shape and clean lines can fit in anywhere. They’re like that well-rounded person who has friends of all ages and from many different circles— they just know how to fit in everywhere! Perhaps that’s why they’ve been in fashion for so long and have been reinterpreted in so many different countries around the world.

Mora Clocks, Swedish Clocks, Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours,

Mora Clocks, Swedish Clocks, Swedish Antiques, Antiques Diva Sweden Tours,

If you would like information on taking an Antiques Diva Swedish Buying Tour to source your own Mora clock, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you source Swedish antiques!

Be Chic. Be Timeless.

The Antiques Diva®   

Swedish Mid-Century Furniture

Dear Diva Readers,

One of our most popular tour countries  — and one of my personal favorites to shop— Sweden offers an excellent variety of quality antiques. Of course, when most of us think of Swedish antiques, we picture Gustavian chippy furniture and Mora Grandfather clocks, all with beautifully worn white or pale blue patina. And while these are lovely classic antiques, there is also a huge modern mid-century movement in Sweden. If you’re a modernista, Sweden may be just the place for you to start sourcing abroad!

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hans-wegner-folding-chair, Swedish Antiques, Mid-Century Design, Trends in Antiques, Sleek mid-century chairs, Swedish Design, The Antiques Diva, Modernista,

If you look at companies like IKEA or France & Son Furniture, you can see that mid-century Danish and Swedish designs are enjoying a renaissance and have been for the past several years. And I’ve got to tell you – I track the trends in antiques – I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. The design language of popular Swedish designers of the 20th century is still so relevant in the interior design world. Look at the pieces designed by Hans Wegner— several of his designs have been reinterpreted and reproduced for the masses. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to own an original piece by this renowned designer?

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Swedish Antiques, Mid-Century Design, Trends in Antiques, Sleek mid-century chairs, Swedish Design, The Antiques Diva, Modernista,

Swedish Antiques, Mid-Century Design, Trends in Antiques, Sleek mid-century chairs, Swedish Design, The Antiques Diva, Modernista,

Even if you don’t have the budget, however, for collector pieces, there are other lesser-known Swedish designers of the mid-twentieth century who produced a similar aesthetic. Alvar Aalto, Finn Juhl and Poul Kjaerholm are a few talented names to look for when sourcing Swedish mid-century. From sleek chairs to tables, you can incorporate these pieces into a modern or traditional space. And don’t forget designers such as Verner Panton Dana who experimented with plastic chairs, all made from one piece of plastic. Quite chic and forward for the time, and oh so hot right now!

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There are vendors in Denmark and Sweden who deal in this style and time period. The good news is that it’s going to be more affordable to source these pieces in Sweden than in America, and our Swedish Divo Guide Daniel Larsson knows exactly where to go to find gorgeous mid-century pieces.

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If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour in Sweden or any of our 8 tour countries—France, Italy, England, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands or Sweden— email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find the antiques of your dreams!

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques Diva Master Class with Daniel Larsson – Part II

Dear Diva Readers,

Last month on the blog I sat down with our Swedish Divo Guide, Daniel Larsson of  D.Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel, and asked him to share his knowledge about Swedish antiques in what I called “The Antiques Diva Master Class”.  Today I want to continue that conversation and pass on some of Daniel’s insights into what’s hot right now when it comes to antique Swedish pieces in home decor. Let’s chat with Daniel!

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Divo Guide Daniel Larsson

Antiques Diva:
What do you think defines Swedish Décor and Swedish Antiques? 

Daniel Larsson:
While there are several styles under the “Swedish Antiques” label,  the provincial Gustavian Style with the pale tones and simple lines is definitely one of the most recognizable and desirable. These pieces possess a particular elegance. This style fits in any interior whether your look is modern, rustic or classic.

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Antiques Diva: 
What are the essential antiques to set a Swedish tone in home décor?

Daniel Larsson:
As far as specific pieces go, I would say the Swedish long case clock is a must have and fits most homes from modern to more classic. This clock is typical to Sweden. There are two styles with different shapes to them: a masculine clock which has straight lines  and a feminine clock which has softer lines. So the style you choose will effect the feel of your home.

Mora clocks are the most well known. The female clocks have a belly and a different shape.  The male clocks are less popular than the female.

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The Mora clock, Sweden’s popular “feminine” style long-case clock

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The masculine version of Sweden’s popular long-case clock. Notice the straighter lines

 

Antiques Diva:
Any other Swedish pieces that
are highly desirable?

Daniel Larsson:
Swedish country furniture including drop leaf tables and Swedish dining chairs are highly sought after. While they are pricier than the French chairs, there are not a lot of dealers with original chairs.  But the real thing that is desirable in Swedish Antiques is ORIGINALITY.

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Antiques Diva:
When it comes to antiques that’s what everyone really wants – ORIGINAL PIECES FROM THE PERIOD – and our specialty is helping our Antiques Diva clients find exactly that on their Sweden Antique Buying tours
.

Daniel Larsson:
And while we help a lot of foreigners buy Swedish Antiques, the thing I think that is important for people to realize is that we Swedes also want these pieces.   The Swedish people want quality and to be honest quality isn’t cheap.  But buying quality in Sweden is a better value than elsewhere.  Regardless of where you buy them, good Gustavian chairs will go for a lot of money.  They’re desireable.

But often when you buying Swedish outside of Sweden you will pay the same price for the later reproductions in the Gustavian style from the late 19th C as you would in Sweden for an original period chair from 100 years earlier in the late 18th C.  This makes it much less expensive to buy in Sweden because you’re getting period authentic pieces.

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Antiques Diva:
It’s difficult because clients don’t always understand that Gustavian Style doe not mean Gustavian Period.  There is a difference in age and quality. 

Daniel Larsson:
When buying Swedish Antiques you really have to be careful to know the difference – are you buying Gustavian STYLE – which is not from the Gustavian period – or Gustavian Period?

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Antiques Diva:
Talk to me about maker’s marks.

Daniel Larsson:
In Sweden, true Gustavian pieces sometimes have a maker’s mark to establish their authenticity to the period. Some dealers say it is important to know who made the chair, for instance, because it gives provenance.  In fact when the chairs were originally being made this was just a matter of practicality.  We Swedes – even in the 18th C – are a practical lot!  If you bought a chair and it broke then you knew who to go to fix the chair.  The maker’s mark was sort of like a guarantee. “Buy it from me, and if it breaks, bring it back and I’ll repair it.”

 

Antiques Diva: 
What are the trends in antiques at the moment in Sweden?  Do the locals love Gustavian antiques the way the rest of the world does?

Daniel Larsson:
In Sweden, good modern quality pieces are popular.  Everyone knows mid-century modern is HOT right now but I can also see that Art Deco style is gaining quite a bit of popularity.  But the Gustavian style has always been and always will continue to be popular among the Swedes. There isn’t one interior magazine in Sweden, regardless of style, that does not include one Gustavian piece in an issue. Our style is different from rest of Europe. Even IKEA is mimicking the Swedish style. In the 1980’s and 1990’s IKEA did a Swedish 18th C line that today has gained collectors value and is selling for more money than back when it was launched!  Have you seen the recent IKEA catalog? They just did their version of a Swedish standing tall case clock.

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Antiques Diva:
You can’t talk about Sweden without thinking of it’s most famous export – IKEA!

Daniel Larsson:
I honestly believe that IKEA is doing more positive things for Swedish furniture than negative.  While it is of course budget furniture they are doing it with some style.  In Sweden – and I think across Europe this holds true – you’ll actually find IKEA often in high-end homes.

 

Antiques Diva:
I’ve said it before and will say it again – Decorating with Antiques is about the mix of High & Low.  So Swedish decorators pair a Gustavian armchairs with an Ikea Coffee table and the mixture just works.  Swedish pieces, whether old or new, are relevant to the way we live today!

Thanks for joining us in this Antiques Diva® Masters Class!

The Antiques Diva®

The Antiques Diva’s Favorite Piece at Home

Dear Diva Readers,

I was recently asked what my favorite piece of furniture is. Each week I am exposed to hundreds of antiques while shopping flea markets and stores on tours all across Europe. With the internet, hundreds more are sent to my email inbox, often resulting in sensory overload! The mix of styles, periods, and price points is so varied that it can be difficult to choose a favorite piece or style. So I decided to look at my own home and try to pinpoint a particular piece that stands out as my personal favorite.

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Chairs seen on a Sweden Antiques Diva Tour

I’ve found that trying to choose a favorite antique piece is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child.  In my living room I have a gorgeous pair of signed Swedish Rococo Stockholm Chairs with traces of primary paint (mostly secondary).  These chairs are the crème de la crème of antiques.  And if you bought online in the USA you’d be looking at easily a cost of $16,000 – 20,000. I bought them on our Sweden Antiques Diva buying tour and spent around 4600E for the pair.  They were a fantastic buy and absolute top quality – my favorite combination.

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Catpuccino has refined tastes – he loves sleeping in the sunshine on my Swedish Rococo Chairs

I find that, in general, Swedish antiques are highly sought after due to their timelessness and classic design.  Open any shelter magazine and you’re sure to see a few strategically placed Swedish pieces that add just the right amount of style and serenity to gorgeously decorated spaces.

While French furniture is beautiful, it can sometimes be overly carved or too “heavy” to blend into contemporary interiors. Swedish furniture, namely Gustavian, could be viewed as the “toned-down cousin” to antique French furniture. The lines are sleeker, the carvings more reserved.  The graceful forms of Swedish furniture are complemented by their color palette which is usually rooted in the natural world, offering hues of gray, cream, pale blue and green.

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Our living room – my favorite Swedish Chairs opposite the modern sofa

My home is a very modern space and so I look for those antiques  that possess a classic sensibility without being overly flamboyant. My pair of Swedish Rococo Stockholm Chairs fits the bill perfectly. They bring a sense of history to a sleek apartment, proving that all things old can be made new again

The Antiques Diva®

P.S. – If you liked this article you might enjoy reading the article I did over at The Daily Basics on our living room décor.

Antiques Diva Master Class with Daniel Larsson

Dear Diva Readers,

When sourcing antiques I believe that knowledge is power.  I like to think of The Antiques Diva® & Co as a multi-faceted resource to our clients. Of course we custom plan tours based on our clients’ style, budget, and time frame….  Of course we also utilize our local Guides’ relationships with vendors all over Europe to get our clients the best pieces….  Of course we translate and negotiate on our clients’ behalf…. BUT our Guides are also knowledgable when it comes to antiques themselves, helping clients understand WHAT pieces are desirable and WHY they’re desirable.  They educate the client (and myself!) about the history of certain styles and why certain pieces are important.

Over the next several months our Antique Tour Guides will be sharing their wealth of knowledge with you here on the blog.  Consider this a type of “Antiques Diva® Master Class,” if you will.  We’ll be giving you information on various styles, period pieces, and the history behind some of today’s hottest trends in antiques.

Today to kick off the series we’re hearing from The Antiques Diva & Co’s Swedish “Divo” Guide, Daniel Larsson of D.LARSSON INTERIÖR & ANTIKHANDEL giving a Guide to Gustavian Antiques.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
What are the Swedish known for when it comes to antiques?

Daniel Larsson:
When talking about Swedish antiques the most representative period is from the 18th Century  is Gustavian styles. Named after King Gustav III of Sweden it has strong influences of neoclassical French design as well as Italian classicism.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
How would we recognize the Gustavian style?

Daniel Larsson:
To recognize Gustavian you’ll want to look for clean lines.  Before becoming king, Gustav III enjoyed an extended stay with Louis XVI at the Palace of Versailles.  You’ll recall the world was all atwitter over the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum at that time.  Louis XVI was fascinated with the Greco Roman Style incorporating that classical vibe into his décor.  Gustav III returning home and incorporated what he learned by Louis’ side.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
And just as today we’re influenced by our travels, upon returning home to Sweden from France Gustav brought this style with him!

Daniel Larsson:
King Gustav III was a well-rounded guy –  very interested in arts and clothes, architecture, style and design.  Sort of a modern day Renaissance man!   He was very influenced by the French Neoclassical designs and he brought this style to Sweden but he reinterpreted it – simplifying it.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
The Gustavian style became a restrained interpretation of the French style.  The resources available in Sweden were different than in France – how did this impact the woods and materials used in creating Gustavian pieces?

Daniel Larsson:
In the beginning Gustav was having these pieces made for the royal palaces – but the style trickled down to the city and then the countryside.  In the larger cities there were master carpenters who used expensive dark woods like mahogany. Today those piece are forbidden for export from Sweden but in the countryside they used less expensive wood such as pine, birch, alder and beech.  They painted it in different colors.  Over the years these pieces would receive fresh coats of paint – not just in white like people typically expect with Gustavian pieces but also yellow and red. Even black.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
When we buy a Gustavian piece it has been painted MANY times – it literally has centuries of layers of paint? Right?

Daniel Larsson:
Exactly – Today 90% of all Swedish antique furniture has been repainted many many times.  If you strip back the layers of paint the result is a rich patina of older paint.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s American dealers bought a large quantity of Gustavian antiques, stripped everything down to the bare wood and re-painted it all white.  Today dealers are more aware of preserving the integrity of the piece. They will strip the piece when possible to the original – or primary – paint or secondary or third level.  Often these pieces need “touched up” and a little decorative paint is then added as necessary.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to purchase Gustavian antiques abroad?

Daniel Larsson:
When purchasing Scandinavian antiques, you must be careful not to get scammed.  There are people who rebuild furniture from old parts – and then they label it as original Gustavian.  It is Gustavian style – but not period or pure pieces.  As you always teach our clients – you must know the difference between a period piece and a style piece.  One of the things that amazes me is how many vendors say they are selling Gustavian – implying it’s a period piece – but isn’t.  About 70% of what you see online is mislabeled.  It may be Gustavian Style, but not ORIGINAL. While this “rebuilt” furniture may be beautiful, it’s important to make the distinction that it isn’t original because pieces with better provenance bring higher prices.  Make sure you know what you’re paying for.  That’s why it’s smart to educate yourself before purchasing.

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva:
Educating our clients is something you’re particularly good at Daniel.  From now on we may have to change your title from “Divo” to “Teacher”.  Thanks for sharing your Guide to Gustavian.

We hope you’ve enjoyed your Antiques Diva® Master Class.  Stay tuned for this continued series from our expert team at The Antiques Diva® & Co.

The Antiques Diva®

(seen below with Divo Guide Daniel Larsson)

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

Antiques Diva Sourcing antiques in Europe

 

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