This posting is written by Annika Arvidsson our Swedish distributor to tell us about her work as upholsterer and passion for gilded leather.
I have the privilege to know her since a long time. As an introduction I just wand to add to what you will read that she and her husband Leif run a upholstering business, they are very well-known and work mainly for Antique dealers and Museums besides this Annika loves gilded leather and has a good collection rare and authentic material. I let you discover http://www.lagestapetserarverkstad.se/startsida.html
The fascination and the dream of gilded leather
Once, a long time ago my husband Leif started his own workshop as upholsterer, then we met and since 21 years I’m his happy team-mate. Our workshop is located in an old building in the idyllic place of Nora a 18th century town in the center of Sweden.
I have also the privilege to be a distributer of Lutson Goudleder for over 10 years now.
In my work as an upholsterer I have become very interested in cultural history, antique furniture and interiors, during my spare time I visit antique shops and auctions in hope to find interesting objects that need care. It touches me when a ruined and wrecked object can be saved, sometimes just conserved in his present condition, sometimes restored to his previous glory. Being part of that chain the handles over objects in a respectful way to the next generation of users moves me deeply, I guess this is why I love my profession so much.
As a distributer of Lutson Goudleder I will tell you a little about myself and my interest in gilded leather.
It all started many years ago and the place was our workshop. What happened is that I came in contact with gilded leather for the very first time. There it was on a chair and it was not very much left of it. Immediately it catched my eye and it was not difficult to imagine how fantastic and magnificent it must have been once. I was totally lost in its beauty and it was then, in that moment my fascination for gilded leather started, I felt that I just had to see more of it and learn more…..
And I also got a dream to one day possibly make my own gilded leather……..
Many telephone calls later and to my enormous happiness I finally came in contact with Frederic, Lut and their so wonderful gilded leathers and the doors to this world of beauty and elegance opened up for me.
I was completely charmed by the patterns which are so unique for the gilded leather, the magnificent colours and of course the gold shining and giving wonderful reflections.
Frederic, Lut and I have now had a long and very pleasant coöperation which has grown and resulted in a warm friendship.
Abondance with the pattern from 1650 is my favourite of all the favourites.
One step at a time I have moved forward in my interesting journey. My dream to make my own gilded leather has also become true and I am a member of Norways gilded leather society. I have also studied and learnt about the history of gilded leather with help from Frederic and Lut. Through them I have also come in contact with Mr. Jean-Pierre Fournet, an expert on gilded leather. He has shared his great knowledge with me in a fantastic way, he has also visited us. We had a good time together when he and his friend came to us spending time in different castles studying gilded leather. We have seen unique hangings and It is really a privilege that the owners of these private castles (with consideration to their privacy) are welcoming us.
One of them is Skoklosters Slott www.skoklostersslott.se Is open to the public and is very famous for its unique collection of gilded leather. The castle is a baroque museum from the 17th century and totally untouched. Besides the gilded leather you can see furniture, textiles, artistic work, weapons and books.
My husband and I are visiting castles together and I am trying to find out where else in Sweden gilded leather is hidden in private collections to make a documentation.
There is lots of gilded leather in Sweden and it is really a pleasure and a great privilege to come inside the castles, both open for the public and private and to have the opportunity to see these extraordinary and magnificent interiors, some of them with rare and unique hangings are of great historic interest and have left a totally unforgettable impression on me.
In our showroom I have started to build up an exhibition about gilded leather with my collection of authentic leathers, pictures and a place where I show and tell a little about how to make gilded leather. I also tell as much as I can about the origin and the history. In this way I wish to share my interest with others and offer them the experience of it all.
As I am in the beginning of making the exhibition I am trying to find special and unique objects and to my happiness I recently obtained a wonderful Flemish gilded leather from the middle of the 17th century . It’s a part of a still existing hanging from the dining room of a castle in the south of Sweden.The scenes are pastoral and sacral showing different groups of figures, buildings, vegetation with big trees and you can also see a river with a boat.
Very different from what I have seen before and I feel deep respect about having a part of such a treasure with me.
So for me all this will continue, looking for gilded leathers for the exhibition, visiting castles and documenting gilded leathers ……….this is an exciting world and I wonder what more I will see and discover………..
I am looking forward to it all.