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Antique Sale! Day 3: Oh, Those Swedes...

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”-Charles Caleb Colton

You know how sometimes when you go to a party at someone’s house and you say to your husband, “This is exactly the kind of house that I like and when we get home, we are throwing away everything that we have and starting over and we are going to make it just like this house.”
Well, that is exactly what King Gustav III of Sweden did after he visited King Louis XVI and the royal palace of Versailles in the 1700s. He so liked what he saw at the palace that he wanted to adopt the Neoclassical style, bring it back to his own country and add a Swedish touch to it. What a king wants, a king gets (interesting, the same goes at our house) and voilà, hundreds of years later, we have Swedish Gustavian furniture, the “Paris of the North.”
The style moved from the royal palaces of Sweden, to the well-to-do townhouses and eventually out to the country houses. The structures/bones remained the same but the colors became muted and this is the fashion that most people are familiar with today. The hushed greys, milky whites and pale blues provided a reflective light in contrast to the harsh dark winters of Sweden.
This brings us to today’s sale item… A Swedish Gustavian Bench/Sofa. Hallå!
Let’s look at a little inspiration first, as usual, via my Swedish Gustavian Pinterest board


Doesn’t that just brighten your day? Now, truth be told, I only like a little hint of Swedish Gustavian. Not the whole house, for God sake. Just a touch of Swedish Gustavian, like a bench, a desk or a Mora clock, will add just the right bit of interest to any style of house.
And I have the perfect piece for sale! Check it out…

Swedish Gustavian Bench/Sofa
Exceptional Upholstered 19th century Gustavian Bench with four pillows (two with trim). Lambs tongue decoration. Carved and fluted legs.

Price: priced to sell at $4200

Place of Origin: Sweden

In the Style of: Gustavian

Materials: Wood, Linen (brand-new upholstery)

Period: early 19th century

Condition: Very Good

Wear: Wear consistent with age and use. Very slight minor 1 inch wood damage on frame.

Height: approximately 3 feet

Length: 6’ 2 3/8 inch

Number of Items: 1

Location of Item: Los Angeles, California USA

If the fabric doesn’t tickle your fancy, no big deal, just change it out. Do you want to see some of my suggestions for fabric?

 A creamy white linen is always chic. 

You could also use a beautiful blue/gray velvet.
Typical prices for these antique benches/sofas range from $5000-$12,000. To compare prices, check out similar offerings at HERE.
If you would like some more inspiration, you can see my entire Swedish Gustavian Pinterest board HERE.
So, this beautiful Gustavian bench is the third item for the sale. If you have any questions, just email me at If you would like to purchase the bench, just email me at the same email address,, and put the title of the piece in the subject line. This is a first come first serve basis and I promise I will not play favorites (unless it’s Princess Caroline of Monaco… Obviously). You can pay with either PayPal or Wells Fargo Bank deposit. You can pick them up or arrange transport for them. If you need to ship them long-distance, I use a company called Vintage Transport.

So there we have it, day three of the sale. Stay tuned for the next piece. Hint: Mother-Of-Pearl.


  1. “This is exactly the kind of house that I like and when we get home, we are throwing away everything that we have and starting over and we are going to make it just like this house.”

    CRACK ME UP...I love Swedish furniture.....I want some twin beds so bad I can taste it, I am still kicking myself over some Baker, antique, turquoise twins for $800.00.....I swore I told the guy to put my name on them as I walked the store in Atlanta.....twirling and gone....I have never found another pair likes these, Swedish furniture twins would work.....but no no no, I can't be spending money now....I need to save to get to France...ha ha ha.....XOXO

  2. Ahh my guess based on the last post was close.
    I thought for sure it would be a Gustavian chandelier. I love those. I have lukewarm feelings on Swedish antiques as I think they can be a little lifeless. But mainly I worry that it's just not meant for chubby drunks emphatically gesturing and sloshing red wine. Seems too delicate. Maybe I just spent too much time in a Laura Ashley store at a formative age. I rarely, if ever, veer from my love of English country. Have you ever read Loi's blog, Tone on Tone? He is the authority on Swedish antiques and displays them so masterfully. If you're on a Gustavian vibe, go over there and enjoy. I totally see their beauty though. They have such pleasing structure and can really lend a room some presence. I would love to see this piece warmed up with that blue and white!
    I hope your sales are flowing and this is going well! I love reading about your take on these pieces.

    1. I love chubby drunks who slosh red wine and spend too much time at Laura Ashley. That is a prerequisite to be my friend. XOXO

  3. I love this, but alas no budget . Damn is all I can say. Please ask the people that buy your beautiful wares to send pics of the new home. Hope you are making gobs of $. I did my small part and just ordered your last recommended book...did I say small part?! xob

  4. Gorgeous. I'd like the yellow fabric, please. Have been dreaming of painting my shop walls in Saffron with touches of bleu celeste......we'll see. Blessings for the sale--all of the items are making me drool. xoxo Mary

  5. Ellie this is the kind of feature that gets my hearts racing and wondering how I can possibly make some discretionary funds appear magically in my bank account (without robbing one!) A most fabulous and unique offering!!

    The Arts by Karena

  6. I'm a friend of Contessa's and I have no idea why it took me so long to get my butt over here to see your fantastic blog!! And I must be careful I think because I would love to sit and read about furniture and history and decorative arts and such all day! Thank you for the lovely to read more; wishing you a beautiful day~