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Svenskt Tenn Seating

Today, the name Svenskt Tenn is associated around the world with the vibrant, modernist textiles and furniture of Josef Frank, who was the Swedish company’s chief designer in the mid-20th century. But the term “svenskt tenn” actually means “Swedish pewter,” and the very first goods the company sold were stylish pewter objects, such as an elegant 1927 candelabra found in the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum, or a sleek, understated mirror in the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts. These pieces were designed to appeal to discerning but price-conscious shoppers in 1920s-era Stockholm.

Art teacher and interior designer Estrid Ericson (1894–1981) partnered with pewter artisan Nils Fougstedt (1881–1954) to establish Svenskt Tenn in 1924, and their creations quickly gained a reputation for high quality and affordability, winning a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925 — the design fair that brought global attention to the Art Deco style.

The experience of renovating her own apartment in the 1920s exposed Ericson to Swedish functionalism — or funkis, as it was known in Sweden — a branch of modernism that advocated uncomplicated forms, subdued colors and utility. She was inspired to open an interior design department at Svenskt Tenn, and in 1930 the firm introduced its first line of furniture.

Selections included items produced by the companies Gemla and Bodafors, as well as original designs by Ericson and the architects Uno Åhrén and Björn Trägårdh, who had worked together on the redesign and expansion of the showroom. The trio’s furniture was displayed at Stockholm’s Galleri Modern in 1931, where it was met with praise from critic Gotthard Johansson, a leading proponent of Swedish functionalism. Johansson admired the “pure lines” and “modern austerity” of the furniture, establishing Svenskt Tenn as an important voice in Swedish design.

But the signature partnership that would come to define the look of Svenskt Tenn was in part the result of political turmoil and the emergence of Nazism in Europe. When Josef Frank fled Vienna for Stockholm in 1933, he was already an accomplished architect who questioned modernist orthodoxy in design. He disliked tubular steel furniture and believed that monochromatic surfaces were distressing to viewers, while pattern and ornament gave interiors a sense of warmth and calm. Ericson was an admirer of Frank’s work, and offered him the chance to design products for Svenskt Tenn. Their professional partnership, particularly in textile design, would eventually become one of the hallmarks of Swedish modernism.

Frank and Ericson collaborated from 1934 until Frank’s death in 1967, with Frank creating unmistakable, bold designs and Ericson employing her flair for interiors, merchandising and display. The pair called their shared approach “Accidentism” or “The Happy Chances Philosophy,” mixing and matching the new and antique, the serious with the playful and pattern with solid colors to find eclectic new combinations in their showroom.

Frank’s textiles are like a visual catalogue of exotic plants and flowers, geological formations and maps, inspired in part by Ericson’s world travels and by Frank’s love of folk art. Svenskt Tenn continues to sell fabric, wallpaper and household goods, many of which sport variations of Frank's signature botanical motifs. Antique and vintage Svenskt Tenn pewter, lighting, furniture, textiles and decorative objects are generally priced anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 depending on scale and condition.

The tenets of Scandinavian modernism are as fresh and relevant now as they were in the 1950s — light-filled and airy rooms with white walls are perfect settings for comfortable furniture upholstered in one of Josef Frank’s indelible patterns, and nearly a century since its founding, the signature aesthetic of Svenskt Tenn remains as distinctive and timeless as ever.

Find antique and vintage Svenskt Tenn mirrors, seating, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Svenskt Tenn
Josef Frank easy chair 891 for Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Easy chair 891 designed by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn in 1937. Made from solid mahogany, reupholstered in a striking zebra-striped textile. The Austrian architect Josef Frank...
Category

1930s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Textile, Mahogany

Josef Frank Bench in Mahogany and Brass Nails, Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn
Located in Copenhagen, DK
Josef Frank & SCANDINAVIAN MODERN A beautiful bench by Josef Frank, for Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1960s. The frame is made of mahogany, upholstered seat with brass nails. The feet are elegantly sculpted and the bench can also be used as a table, end of bed stool...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Fabric, Mahogany

Midcentury stool by Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1950s
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Stockholm, SE
Neat stool by Josef Frank, made from mahogany with elegantly sculpted feet. Rattan seat in a densely wreathed pattern.
Category

1950s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Rattan, Wood

Josef Frank, Sofa, Fabric, Mahogany, Sweden, 1940s
By Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn
Located in High Point, NC
An earl mahogany and floral fabric sofa, Model 703, designed by Josef Frank and produced by Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1940s. Seat height: 17.5”
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Fabric, Mahogany

Josef Frank stool model 1063 by Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Stool model 1063, designed by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn. Crafted from solid walnut and adorned with red leather upholstery, it features decorative brass rivets encircling th...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

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Leather, Walnut

Josef Frank stool model 2009 by Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Stool model 2009, designed by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn. Crafted from solid walnut with vibrant red leather upholstery, it features ornamental brass rivets adorning its legs...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Josef Frank stool model 1034 by Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Stool model 1034, designed by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn. Its versatile design makes it suitable for use as both a stool and a low organic side table. Crafted from solid maho...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Mahogany

Josef Frank stool model 972 by Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Stool model 972, a 1940 design by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn. Crafted from solid mahogany, it features rich red leather upholstery and decorative brass rivets along the sides...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Josef Frank stool model 972 by Firma Svenskt Tenn, Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Forserum, SE
Stool model 972, a 1940 design by Josef Frank for Firma Svenskt Tenn. Crafted from solid mahogany, it features rich red leather upholstery and decorative brass rivets along the sides...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Swedish Cabinetmaker Settee / Sofa in Pinewood and White Vägen Linen, 1940s
By Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn, Axel Einar Hjorth, Philip Arctander, Madsen & Schubell
Located in Odense, DK
Rare and stunning Scandinavian Modern sofa settee attributed to Philip Arctander and made in the 1940s by a Swedish Cabinetmaker. It is made from solid Scandinavian pinewood...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Leather, Wool, Pine

Josef Frank Side Chair Easy Chair Model 2067 for Svenskt Tenn circa 1948 Sweden
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
Located in Vienna, AT
Josef Frank side chair or easy chair model no. 2067 from walnut and fabric for Svenskt Tenn 1947, Sweden. A fabulous side chair or easy chair designed by Josef Frank for Svenskt Ten...
Category

1940s Swedish Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Josef Frank, Stool or Bench, Mahogany, Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1970s
By Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn
Located in High Point, NC
A mahogany stool or bench designed by Josef Frank and produced by Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1970s.
Category

1970s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Mahogany

Easy Chair by Uno Åhrén and Björn Trägådh
By Svenskt Tenn
Located in Hudson, NY
Armchair designed by Uno Åhrén and Björn Trägårdh for Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1930s. Linen upholstery.
Category

1930s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Svenskt Tenn Seating

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

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Previously Available Items
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Midcentury Stool by Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn, Sweden, 1950s
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Josef Frank Bench in Mahogany and Niger Leather, Sweden 1950s
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Josef Frank and Svenskt Tenn - Scandinavian Modern A beautiful bench by Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn, mahogany frame and Niger leather with nails. The model 2082 was designed by J...
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1950's Josef Frank ''695'' Pair of Armchairs
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1950's Josef Frank ''695'' Pair of Armchairs
1950's Josef Frank ''695'' Pair of Armchairs
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1940'S Josef Frank ''2067'' Leather Easy Chair for Svenskt Tenn
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
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“2067” Josef Frank easy chair in cherry wood and leather for Svenskt Tenn. Sweden, 40´s. Good condition. Wood restored and original leather. Leather shows a slight tear in the backr...
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Stool by Josef Frank
By Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank
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Stool by Josef Frank
Stool by Josef Frank
H 14.18 in W 19.69 in D 14.97 in

Svenskt Tenn seating for sale on 1stDibs.

Svenskt Tenn seating are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Svenskt Tenn seating, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original seating by Svenskt Tenn were created in the Scandinavian Modern style in sweden during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider seating by Torsten Claeson, Folke Bensow, and Ingvar Stockum. Prices for Svenskt Tenn seating can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $3,843 and can go as high as $25,283, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $7,200.

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