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Swedish Provincial Furniture

John Stephens & Co. Ltd The Gustavian Specialist

Gustavian Furniture John Stephens & Co. Ltd. have been importing fine furniture to New Zealand, from France and England, for nearly thirty years. Over the years, we have admired the 18th Century Swedish furniture that we have seen in England and France. We have travelled to Sweden to source these pieces ourselves. The contemporary, light aesthetic of these Swedish pieces are well suited to our New Zealand homes. In 1771 Gustav III, the Crown Price of Sweden, returned home after an extended stay at the French court of Louis XVI at Versailles. During his stay, he acquired a fine appreciation of the Louis XV furniture of Paris and the Louis XVI style of Versailles. When Gustav’s father died, the young Gustav returned home to become King of Sweden. He brought with him a passion for this French style, along with skilled craftsmen and cabinetmakers from France. What evolved was a pared back, cleaner adaptation of French furniture, far more suited to the Swedish style. The Swedes’ preference was a painted finish for their furniture, in soft greys and whites, over the decorative veneers and inlays favoured by the French. Our first collection of 18th century Swedish furniture features pieces that have helped define that instantly recognisable style, still strongly seen in the best Scandinavian design of today. We hope you enjoy the collection.

John Stephens

Cover: The star find in Sweden - an outstanding 18th century Swedish commode of four drawers, with its original paint finish. The serpentine front is shaped in the manner of a bow (bow and arrow). This piece is of very solid, 18th century construction. Opposite: A classical chest of four drawers purchased recently in Sweden. This really is the perfect model - excellent colour, proportion and style with dental moulded top, fluted columns with bronze ormolu mounts. Circa 1790, just wonderful!

Above: This very plain, painted trestle table sourced in Sweden, will suit those striking architectural spaces perfectly. It has the original painted frame with exposed wooden top. Opposite: The epitome of Swedish simplicity, this 18th century crown cupboard on chest with bracket feet is the cover piece for this catalogue. Wonderful proportions and colour.

Above: Louis XV style four-legged, three-seater, cabriole-legged sofa in Gustavian grey finish with hessian upholstery and cambric cushions. Exceptionally comfortable. Opposite: Louis XVI style, Gustavian grey, four-legged console table with black marble top and wonderful carving detail.

Above: A pair of beautifully proportioned period chairs finished in Gustavian grey and gold. Pegged mortice and tenon joints indicate their 18th century origin. Opposite: A Swedish three-drawer commode with a slight Northern Italian influence. It has lovely moulded drawer fronts and blackened ormolu Louis XV handles - a very solid, statement piece.

Above: Purchased south of Gottenburg, this Swedish provincial double-ended chaise has obvious Biedermeier influences. Of stunning colour and proportion, this piece will look magnificent in a contemporary architectural interior. Opposite: Swedish long case clocks from the mid 18th century. Known as a Bornholm long case clock, these are very famous - made in Ronne, Sweden. One of these Nordic grey clocks has gold highlights and the other silver highlights.

Above: A fantastic pair of 18th century Louis XV style, Swedish, grey and white chairs upholstered in Hessian and calico gorgeous proportions and wonderfully comfortable. Opposite: A lovely vitrine with original glass, fine mouldings on the glazed doors and classic Swedish fluted legs.

Above: An attractive, very solid, serpentine-fronted commode with Louis XV and Italian influences, bronze ormolu handles and escutcheons. Opposite: A lovely, plain Louis XV style commode of small, very pleasing proportions, in Gustavian grey with a carrera marble top.


A set of Gustavian chairs with white, over-glazed finish and linen seats in the English manner.

Opposite: A very nice, plain set of bedsides in Gustavian grey with faux marble tops.

Above: A lovely Gustavian grey settle of excellent proportions, with Sheraton and Biedermeier influences. Opposite: In the French Empire manner, this Swedish four drawer chest looks wonderful in Nordic grey and silver with gilded drawers and columns.

Above and opposite: A pair of 18th century, painted, half-round tables that fit together to make a circular table.


 set of six 18th century (mortice and tenon jointed) fluted legged, square backed chairs in original pale grey and A upholstered in dark grey linen.

Opposite: A plain 18th century Swedish commode with round ring handles and shaped fluted feet.

Above: 18th century settle with four turned and fluted front legs in the Louis XVI manner. The egg and dart moulding help to date this as a period piece. Opposite: A small, bow-fronted commode of pleasing proportions with shaped, fluted legs and round brass handles.

Above: An attractive pair of Swedish stools in the classical manner. Opposite: A fantastic metamorphic 19th century library step or chair in excellent, original condition.


John Stephens & Co. Ltd

15 Shore Road, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand. Telephone: 64-9-529 1660 Website: – Email:

Gustavian brochure  

Swedish Provincial Furniture

Gustavian brochure  

Swedish Provincial Furniture