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Chairs from the Swedish Empire at Mälsåker 2023.

About the Collection and the research

I have had the privilege of growing up surrounded by interesting objects and furniture with a well documented provenance – mainly from the Holtermann, von Rosen and Fleming families. My interest in these objects and especially furniture in early modern Scandinavia, was there from the beginning.

    Over time, my collection of chairs from the Swedish Empire have grown to nearly 50 chairs. With the collection came the research. I wanted to learn more about the era, the interiors, seaborne logistics, and the domestic production of seating furniture. I discovered that there were more questions than answers when it came to 17th century chairs.

    Work in progress – my research will hopefully result in a book. In January 2023, I received a generous printing grant from Riddarhuset and right now I am applying for a grant to be able to carry out a dendrochronological analysis of the wood in a number of old chairs. This is very interesting, as it can often be very difficult to more precisely date these pieces of furniture, as the provenance is often non-existent.

    As part of the work with the research, I have curated two mini exhibitions at Mälsåker and Örbyhus castle this summer. By late fall the whole Collection Will be presented at Salsta castle.

Here you can listen about my collecting in Talkshow in P1, Sveriges Radio. (The clip starts 14 minutes into the program).

If you are interested in knowing more about my research or if you are researching the subject yourself, do not hesitate to send me an email.


Carl Fredrik Holtermann
collector and acting curator at Årsta Castle Museum


Above: Me, five years old, on an early

18th century side chair.

Below right: Chairs from the collection in Erik XIV's prison at Örbyhus. Photo: Josephine d'Otrante.

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