News from Scandinavian Antiques

Swedish Mora Clocks: An Incredible Antique to Add Beauty and Character to Your Denver Home

February 21, 2018

The Swedish Mora clock has increased in popularity in recent years, as many people are attracted to this shapely and uniquely designed clock. If you want to make a visual impact with your clock selection, there is probably no better antique clock out there that can achieve this feat with such ease. The history of the Swedish Mora clock is also a fascinating look into how difficult times can inspire a creative outburst that has stood the test of time. If you are looking for antiques in Denver, learning about this extraordinary timepiece is worth your time.

History of the Swedish Mora Clock

The Swedish town of Mora experienced difficult economic times during the mid-1700’s, as its agricultural and mining industries experienced trying times. As a result, the people of the town of Mora turned to clock making as a way to make ends meet. Throughout the town, families began to specialize in the production of making various parts for the clocks.

Traditionally a farming community, Mora townsfolk were drawn to this new industry as a way to supplement their income. Many residents of the region were poor at the time, thus why there were so many who decided to take up this unique trade and craft.

Whether it was the face of the clock, the mechanical interior parts, the wood long case or the exterior painting of the clock, Mora residents found their niche within this particular industry. At the height of its popularity, approximately 100 families in the town were involved in the production of making this treasured staple of time-keeping.

Throughout the province of Darlana, each individual area produced a different part of the clock. This process resulted in some very unique and creative clock designs that were a collaboration between residents of this particular part of Sweden. The clocks would first be sold without a case and then the person buying the product would ask locals in the area to make the wood case.

The sizes and shapes of the Swedish Mora clock also varied according to the region in which they were produced. Clocks that were manufactured in Northern Sweden were typically tall and slender, while clocks that were produced in Southern Sweden were usually fat and were accentuated by exaggerated curves.

Estimates by Gunnar Pipping state that more than 50,000 Mora clocks were produced throughout the 19th century. During the height of its production, there were around 1,000 Mora clocks being made each year. Over time, competition from Germany and America would lead to the demise of this once burgeoning industry for Mora. What was once a lucrative market for Mora in the 18th and 19th century became impractical and no longer profitable. Now, the clocks made during that era are prized as cherished antiques, still adding charm and function to today's modern home. 

The Look and Feel of a Mora Clock

Mora clocks can come in a variety of shapes in sizes, and speak to the personality of the person that created it. These clocks are generally known for their tall and slender appearance, and are able to fit into tight spaces much easier than English clocks of a similar style. This is due to the fact that Mora clocks are shallower than the English variety.

In terms of their size, Mora clocks are approximately 8 to 12 inches deep, 20 to 28 inches wide, and 70 to 99 inches tall. The face of the clock tends to measure about 19 inches in diameter. The numbers and minute markers on a Mora clock are one of the clock’s decorative elements, and were usually painted on in black paint.

The design of a Swedish Mora clock is classic and, ironically, timeless. Each Mora clock has its own individual personality, and has been handcrafted to create a truly unique piece for your home. The history creates a depthness of character that is unparalleled by any other piece.

Adding a Mora clock to your home can add a layer of history to your living space that makes the process of entertaining guests fun and informative. Your Mora clock won’t just be a decorative piece, it will also be a story waiting to be told to those lucky enough to hear it.

Types of Mora Clocks

Mora clocks come in a variety of specific styles, which is helpful when deciding which Mora clock would work best in your living room. Each style category has unique distinguishing characteristics, giving you a diverse selection from which to choose.

The Fryksdall are clocks that have a wider belly with a pinched waist, and also have exceptional hood carvings on the unit. Typically, these clocks come in white and greys, and were usually owned by wealthier individuals.

Country clocks were typically more plain in appearance and had less decoration. They came with simple hood crowns and using much less glass than their counterparts. These were usually the prized possession in poorer families, and were often given as wedding gifts.

City clocks were those that had a much finer level of decoration. These usually included painted finishes that made a strong statement stylistically, and would also set them apart from other varieties.

Bridal clocks were those that were more odd and unusual than the rest. These tended to originate from Jamtland, and had a very fine level of decorative carving on them. In fact, they are likely the finest clocks in terms of the level of craftsmanship.

Scandinavian Antiques is happy to assist you in finding the most appropriate Swedish Mora Clock for your modern household. We will make sure that aside from adding beauty, the clock will work to your specifications whether you choose to have the orginal works and chimes restored or opt for the ease of a battery function eliminating the need to wind and set the clock weekly. Our team of qualified associates are dedicated to delivering the best customer service in the industry, and are delighted to help you bring this antique timekeeping centerpiece into your home. We typically have aproximately 10-20 Mora clocks available at any given time, and import directly from Sweden throughout the year.

Our owner, Henrik Follin, was born in Sweden and has worked with original Mora clocks over 30 years as an antique wholesaler. With over 24,000 sq ft in Denver of European antique furniture inventory, you wil not find a greater selection anywhere. Our team's attention to quality and detail is accentuated by our 2,000 square foot studio, where our craftsmen work to restore the integrity of our antiques. If you are interested embarking on a journey to blend the past with the present, contact us today!

European Antique Workbenches: History and Uses

February 7, 2018

Workbenches have been a staple in a woodworkers stable of tools for centuries. These tables are used for a variety of different uses, each table reflecting the specific type of work that the owner is involved in. Designs have changed over the course of time and have been adjusted and updated with the advent of modern power tools and various new techniques. Despite the very specific designs and uses when they were first built, their longlasting durability and aesthetic provide a varietry of opportunities for interior decorating with a bit of creative touch. If you are interested in learning more about European antiques and workbenches and how to encorporate them in home furnishing, continue reading for further explanation.

The History of Workbenches

Workbenches have been around for centuries, and have evolved over time to meet the demands and needs of the worker that uses them. Earliest examples of the workbench stretch back to Egypt with examples of rocks with notches that were used for bracing work. Though these do no resemble modern day workbenches, these Egyptian contraptions would be considered proto-benches, as they served a similar function and purpose as their modern-day equivalent.

The Roman empire would eventually leave its mark on the world of workbenches, as its influence was clearly felt in nearly every facet of modern society. The Roman workbench has been around in some form for approximately 1,400 years. From drawings, we can surmise that the Roman workbench consisted of a solid plank top with legs tenoned into it. Unlike their modern equivalent, these benches had no addition shelving below the top plank and also did not have any drawers or other components that make later versions of the workbench that much more convenient for the person that uses it.

The European workbench has been around for about 200 years, and the form has evolved over time. The European workbench has been the dominant style in the western world over the last century and has continued to be a popular choice for woodworkers to this day. One of the primary distinguishing features of the European workbench was the addition of vises, which are mechanical apparatuses that are used to secure an object to the workbench in order to allow a work to be performed on it.

There are two main categories of vises to be aware of in regards to workbenches. The first are those that are on the end of the bench. These end vises, also referred to as tail vises, are typically mounted to the right portion of the bench and are designed for right-handed workers. The second type of vise used in workbenches are front vises, which are usually mounted on the left front side of the workbench. These can be utilized for holding boards to be edge jointed, and can also be used for sawing dovetails and things of that nature.

French benches of the 17th and 18th century depended on stops and dogs to hold a piece in place, which contrasts sharply from its British and American counterparts, as they relied more on vices to hold a piece in place. The location of a vise on a workbench is one of the primary distinguishing features of what separates one style of bench from another. The standard cabinetmaker’s bench is one that is fitted with a tail vise as well as a face vice. The Scandinavian bench is one that is marked by is dog-leg vise, one that does not impose a limit on the size of workpieces that can be held in it.

Ways to Incorporate an Antique Workbench in Your Interior

At Scandinavian Antiques, we believe in giving beautiful historic pieces new purpose. Perserving and extending the life of these objects is our passion. Sometimes this means finding new utility for our wares. Workbenches, like many antiques, can provide a number of uses that may not seem immediately obvious. With the help of our workshop and expertise, we will help you match the form you love to the function you need.

For instance, here is a workbench we custom fit to be a wine tasting table for a client (featured in several magazines now):

The possibilities are endless. A workbench could be cut down for a coffee table, complete with a recessed area for remotes or quick use items. Rather than cutting it down, a workbench could also be built up and used as stunning kitchen island. By simply adding a shelf between the lower trestle stretchers, one could make a unique bar or sofa console table. With our craftsmanship and a bit of imagination, you will find the ideal place for a workbench and the perfect use for continuing it's long life.

(Above is an example of a workbench serving as a desk)

Antique Carpenter’s Workbenches for Sale

Scandinavian Antiques specializes in the finest European antiques and we take care to stock pieces that will serve our clients functionally as well as aesthetically. We have a passion to find unique items and hand select every piece we sell to ensure you are receiving the best quality antiques available in the United States.

When it comes to antique workbenches, this is no different. Currently, we have a approximately 20 antique carpenter’s workbenches for sale that are an example of our vast inventory. While a few can be found on our website (under "Workbenches" and "Latest European Container"), many more can be found in our two local Denver warehouses, the first conveniently located next door to our showroom. These workbenches are awaiting restoration, so are a perfect choice for a personalized project ready for your customization.

Each has it's own charm and character, so be sure to peruse our warehouse to find the one that speaks to you. When you make your selection, we will restore it to your specifications so that your needs are perfectly met and the workcbench is ready for whatever use you have in mind.

One of the workbenches we have for sale is an incredible Danish workbench with a solid top
 that is sure to impress anyone who comes into contact with it. This beautiful workbench is from the late 19th century, and bears an exquisite patina from years of traditional use. Unique to this table is that we added a piece of wood to the recessed tray, now providing one continuous top, perfect for a desk or to display a large sculpture as a console table. This piece has a single wood handled vice and includes a traditional trestle base which allows for easy assembly and take down. This particular bench has been restored and waxed, allowing you to rest easy in knowing it is durable and ready for many more years of use.

Another carpenter's workbench that is currently for sale is a rustic workbench ready to be customized or refinished for use in a home or office. This piece is from our “un-restored” collection; it just arrived from Europe and is still in "warehouse condition." Prior to leaving our store, like all our antique furniture it will be professionally restored in our workshop to ensure it is stable, strong, ready for use and completed with an appropriate finish. This particular piece will be re-listed upon its restoration, allowing you to see how much attention to detail Scandinavian Antiques takes when it comes to restoring our antiques.

If you are in the market for a strong and sturdy antique workbench loaded with character, we are confident we have a piece that will meet your personalized needs. While these particular pieces are incredible for their ability to show off your individual interior decorating  taste,  they are terrific functional options as well. Whether you desire to have a piece of history as a collector’s item, repurpose an antique in a modern way, or actually intend to use the workbench for it’s original function, we are certain you will be pleased with the incredible selection we offer.

Scandinavian Antiques is happy to assist you in finding the most appropriate European antiques for your modern household. We have over 30 years of experience as an antique importer, and our attention to quality and detail is accentuated by our 2,000 square foot studio, where our craftsmen work to restore the function of our antique furniture. With over 24,000 sq ft of inventory, if you are interested embarking on a journey to blend the past with the present, contact us today!


How to Incorporate Vintage and Modern Styles Naturally by Visiting your Local Antique Dealer

January 17, 2018

Finding the best way to naturally combine antiques with newer household items can be a challenge, but is an attainable task if approached carefully. A handcrafted antique often cannot be properly replicated, both in terms of its craft and age. For people interested in the beautiful historic style, frequenting a local antique dealer can be a surefire way to find the vintage items that blend in smoothly with your home.

Why You Should Care About Antiques

Antiques provide a degree of character that modern items cannot rival. Individuals who are seeking a unique style often look to antique items to provide the big statement maker they desire. Purchasing a 100 year or older table can impress guests in the same fashion that a brand new table is unable to. These masterfully crafted and forgotten treasures can take center stage and become a staple of any dining or living room.

While new pieces of furniture still have a place, often the most desired object to have in your home is one that has been around longer than you have. A cabinet or table can become much more meaningful and valued with time, as the age of the item  imparts a sense of history and wonder far beyond what a new piece of furniture could ever hope to do. By making this history a part of your home, you add another chapter to it’s long story.

Many people see a great deal of value in antiques and products made during a different era. The recent rise of planned obsolescence in the modern economy, which is the trend where consumer products are designed to have a limited lifespan, has accentuated this point. Individuals are looking to the past to find products they know are built to last, as they’ve obviously stood the test of time and are still in functioning order. At Scandinavian Antiques, any diminished level of utility is restored in our professional workshop. Everyone of our pieces in inspected and optimally prepared for use. For example, chairs have more joints that can grow weak over time than any other piece of furniture. We make sure each joint is strong so the chair is ready to use daily.

It can be hard to remember a time in which society valued their household items enough to pass them down from generation to generation, but this was exactly the case. This was also reflected in how companies used to build their products, as items were sold and marketed for their ability to stand the test of time. People who are seeking a product that has dependability and is durable look to antique dealers for their ability to provide trustworthy products.

Incorporating Antiques into your Denver Home Naturally

Discovering an incredible piece of antique furniture can be an amazing feeling, as you are blown away by an item’s unique charm and characteristics. You are excited to have this exquisite cabinet in your living room. Yet, you simultaneously begin to wonder how this treasure from the past will complement your mostly modern interior.

Obviously, there needs to be a degree of forethought regarding design and layout in terms of any furniture purchase. With antiques, this is especially important, as you don’t want an antique to look out of place if you are intending to have it be something that leaves a lasting impression on your house guests.

This contrast between old and new can actually be the perfect combination of modern and vintage, and show off your appreciation for both the present and the past. In design, opposing forces can be a net benefit in terms of their ability to create a desirable environment. The appropriate juxtaposition between modern and vintage can truly make for a personalized style statement in your home.

When designing your home and creating an environment that naturally blends multiple styles and eras, it is important to not be afraid of variety. The right selection of unique and opposing style choices, whether due to the time period or color scheme, can create a home that is comfortable and elegant.

Variety, when done correctly, can spice up your life in ways that uniform style choices could never do. Although you don’t necessarily want to create an environment that is overly busy and potentially jarring as a result, you also shouldn’t feel limited by a more conservative approach to style.

Finding the Right Balance Between Styles and Time Periods

Mixing styles and eras can, at first, seem like an intimidating task, one that may provide an initial design challenge. However, this does not need to be as complicated or unapproachable as it seems. There are a plethora of ways in which a person can utilize items from different eras to highlight various features of the other side.

If you discover an antique piece of artwork, you may find that certain attributes of a painting may bring out characteristics of your new couch in ways you never thought possible. This can create a natural synthesis between time periods, as you can link the two through color schemes or other thematic elements that both items may share.

There are many ways to use antiques while still highlighting their aesthetic appeal. An old pine dresser or sideboard can make a great changing table for an infant which can later be passed to them for use throughout their life. A painted trunk provides storage, but also makes for a great coffee table, side table, and toy chest for a child. Antiques provide a great opportunity as one piece of furniture (such as the painted trunk or dresser as a changing table) can have “multiple lives.”

Scandinavian Antiques is happy to assist you in finding the most appropriate antiques for your modern household. We have over 30 years of experience with importing antiques, and our attention to quality and detail is accentuated by our 2,000 square foot workshop where our craftsmen work to restore the function and quality of our antiques. With over 24,000 sq ft of European antique furniture inventory here in Denver, if you are interested embarking on a journey to blend the past with the present, contact us today!

Get to Know Scandinavian Antiques in Denver, CO

January 10, 2018

If you have not yet experienced the expansive offerings of Scandinavian Antiques in Denver, it is time to add a visit to your bucket list. As one of the oldest antiques dealers in Colorado, the owners of Scandinavian Antiques have a rich history rooted in European antiquities. The storefront on South Broadway has been in operation for over 20 years in the US, and for 10 years before that internationally.

For avid collectors to any individual looking for a unique or historic piece of furniture, the showroom offers a glimpse into the products proudly offered which come from all over the world. As the largest importer of Scandinavian antiques in the country and one of the largest European importers in the Western US, you’ll find the best selection of goods in their inventory.

A Brief History of Scandinavian Antiques

Owners Henrik & Mark Follin operate the showroom with an extensive operation running behind the scenes in their warehouses. A tour of the warehouse next door to the showroom brings you into the fold of the acquisition process, of which Henrik is well-versed. Born in Sweden, Henrik was raised in Denmark with family still residing there.

30 years ago, Henrik began his European business as a wholesaler of antique wares, working across the world in countries like Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Romania, and France. After moving to the US, Henrik has operated in Denver for over 20 years. With his wife Mary now working alongside him, they have made their mark as the largest Scandinavian antiques dealer in the US. With strong connections to many dealers across the globe, the items available at Scandinavian Antiques can’t be found anywhere else.

Why is Scandinavian Antiques Different?

Unlike other antiques dealers, wholesalers, or stores, Scandinavian Antiques houses a 2,000 sq. ft. workshop, where all the incredible restoration work takes place. By employing skilled, experienced craftsmen to restore these one-of-a-kind pieces, they ensure every item has been preserved to protect further use, establish integrity, as well as preserving its value over time.

Every piece of furniture is hand-selected by Henrik – with over 30 years now in the industry, you can rest assured the items you find in their showroom or warehouse is representative of their high standards.

Denver Locals Love Scandinavian Antiques!

Part of the mission of Scandinavian Antiques is connecting with the Denver community. In November 2017, Mayor Michael Hancock paid a visit to the showroom on Small Business Saturday and was given a tour of the warehouse.
Henrik Follin with Mayor Michael Hancock in the Scandinavian Antiques showroom (Image via: Facebook)
In addition to one-on-one visits with Denver representatives and local shoppers, Scandinavian Antiques has been awarded a number of honors locally:
  • 2013: 5280 Magazine: Top of the Town Best Antique Store in Denver, Editor’s Choice
  • 2016: Denver City Voter A-List: Top Rated Antiques Online
  • 2017: 5280 Magazine: Top of the Town Best Antique Store in Denver, Editor’s Choice
  • 2017: Denver City Voter A-List: Top Rated Antiques Online

With the development and launch of their new online store, Scandinavian Antiques allows customers the ease of shopping online! With new products added regularly, you can shop for a special piece, or even view the items imported in their latest European container for the “newest” products. A container might feature products like the Large Reproduction Pine Breakfront Bookcase from Hungary, oil paintings, kitchen wares like spice racks, or chairs, work tables, or consoles. All items can be purchased online, or you can pay a visit to their showroom on South Broadway to see the items in person. With over 24,000 square feet of inventory, at best, only 10% is ever listed on the website.

Customers of Scandinavian Antiques typically become lifelong clients – many clients have found that purchasing an “old” piece of furniture is actually quite reliable considering the quality of their restoration process. Due to the nature of the acquisition process and longtime ties Henrik has to European antiques suppliers, Scandinavian Antiques can offer some of the best pricing found out there in the antiques market.

Some clients have mentioned the benefit of ordering from Scandinavian Antiques lies in their location. Rather than order from shops in New York, shipping from Colorado is ideal for those shopping on the west coast. Even for East coast customers, often the price points of products are significantly lower than competitors. One customer from New Hampshire said,
“I discovered Scandinavian Antiques online and was at first hesitant to purchase over the phone. Based on photos and conversation, I purchased my first cabinet from Scandinavian Antiques and was more than pleased with the quality. Since then, I have purchased a table and Biedermeier chairs which would have cost far more on the East coast if I could even find them.”

Create Your Own Look

Not every piece is suited exactly to a customer’s specifications or needs. When you work with Scandinavian Antiques, another benefit to having an on-site workshop is the ability to create fully custom designs! Sometimes a finish or a change in paint style can take an unmatched piece of furniture and turn it into something that ties into what you already have in your home or business. Consider your options to have a professional build or customize furniture to make an old product new again (like creating a unique kitchen island or console table). Typically, the purchase of these types of wares are for life – and become family heirlooms to pass down through the generations of your family. Let the experienced professionals at Scandinavian Antiques create the look you need to round out your space or provide a strong accent and focal point in your space.
Curious about the products offered at Scandinavian Antiques? Start browsing now! Anything you see on the website is available for purchase. Their shipping policy utilizes the benefits of freight shipping, which makes the cost more affordable for customers as well as ensures a safe transit for your items.

Visit the showroom! Contact the team at Scandinavian Antiques now with questions, or stop by their spacious showroom. Doors are open from 10:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Saturday, and are conveniently located on South Broadway, next door to Corvus Coffee. Find us on Facebook to stay up to date on events and celebrations, as well as learn about new products and the stories that surround such historic pieces.

Swedish Maid's Benches

By Scandinavian Antiques - January 10, 2017

The history of this bench adds to its already existing charm. In a Swedish 1800’s country farmhouse, sleeping space was often limited and cold. Households that could afford a maid had "beds" like this one that served as a bench alongside the kitchen table where the family ate its meals. At night time, the base of the bench was opened to reveal a "bed", where the maid would sleep comfortably in the warmth of the kitchen. In the morning, she would simply slide the bottom bed or large drawer back in place and begin her daily chores. To see this bench click here