In June 2003, I toured Swedish royal palaces and magnificent homes in Stockholm and vicinity, from the Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and Victorian periods, c. 1600 to 1900. Curators and current owners explained the history of the houses, the architecture and the contents, including fine and decorative arts.
For me, touring Europes's historic houses has added another dimension to the art and antiques we sell. It is one thing to look at a print, map or globe in a shop or gallery, or read about it in a book. Seeing the same antiques in the context of the home and furnishings of one of the original owners brings them to life in a new way, illuminating the purpose, meaning and significance of these objects when they were initially created.
In the English-speaking world, British country houses are well known. The pictures from my trip that follow give a brief online tour of the less familiar Swedish country houses. I have used them to illustrate some of our current offerings of prints, maps, and globes in the context of historical treasures of the country houses of Europe.
Sweden’s Great Cultural Periods
Culture flourished in Sweden during two periods in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first occurred when Sweden came into its own as a major power in Europe at the conclusion of the so-called Thirty Years War. Under the terms of the treaty entered into by several European countries to end the conflict in 1648, Sweden gained territory in northern Germany across the Baltic Sea and remained a major player on the European scene until the defeat of King Karl XII by Russia and several other countries in a series of battles between 1709 and 1715. The second great cultural period was led by King Gustaf III, toward the end of the 18th century. By and large, the Swedish homes and palaces you see here reflect those two eras.
The second great cultural period was led by King Gustav III (also called Gustaf III), who embraced the neoclassicism of the French Louis XVI style in the late 18th Century, until his assassination in 1792. By and large, the royal palaces and major Swedish castles and residences you see here reflect those two eras.
A Baroque vase filled with summer blooms is the in the courtyard of a Swedish house,
with a pathway leading to Lake Malaren. Houses in and around Stockholm were generally
approached by the lake -- during the short summers by boat and in the winters by sled.
Contents Take the Tour ->