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A Swedish Empire Birchwood Sofa c.1820-40

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Item Description

The generously sized Swedish Empire or Karl Johan sofa at over seven feet, having a graceful showframe in solid birchwood to scrolled arms and boldly carved and painted stylised lions paw feet, upholstered in a slate lavender blue with the original bolster pillows. the whole surviving from the second quarter of nineteenth century Sweden.

In very desirable original condition, there are no major flaws to report, the upholstery can’t be more than five or so years old. There is the expected wear to the birchwood and feet.

In 1810 the French officer Jean Babtiste Bernadotte came to southern Sweden accompanied by one of Napoleons marshals Monsieur Bernadotte , the man who was going to become King Karl XIV Johan and it was at this time the French Empire style came to Sweden.

Napoleons architects, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine developed the style in France during the late 1790s as they adapted Neoclassicism and gave it a bolder look. Inspired by the roman empires it featured strong lines and architectural attributes such as eagles, shields, helmets and spears which all became important symbols of the period.

The height of this period was between 1804-1814 when Napoleon I was the emperor which also gave the period its name; Empire. During 1830 the style got softer and late Empire and in southern part of Sweden it got, essentially, blonder, which is when this piece was made.

A supremely attractive and original piece of Swedish Empire furniture, tastefully upholstered and…well those feet!

Item Info



Seller Location

London, UK

Item Dimensions

H: 86cm W: 231cm >D: 71cm



Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

United Kingdom

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)1767 640995

+44 (0)772 9213013

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