D.Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel
I recently was able to interview Daniel Larsson, owner of D.Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel, one of Sweden’s top sources for authentic antique furniture and decor. Daniel opened his store in July 2012 and has quickly become recognized in the industry as the go-to guy for Swedish Antiques – He not only locates the goods you’re looking for but also educates you when buying your first slice of Swedish history or adding to your ever growing collection of rare Scandinavian finds.
Unlike other dealers who wouldn’t dream of sharing their sources, Daniel is a guide with The Antiques Diva® & Co European Tours which means he takes clients hand in hand to wholesale warehouses and secret sources.
Daniel has traveled around the world, and has lived in the USA, England, India, Norway, Spain and Holland, but has returned back to his roots in Helsingborg, Sweden where his main antique store is located.
He and his better half, life partner and wife- Cristina, work together to run D.Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel, a busy antique store, which offers Swedish furniture ranging from 18th to late 19th century. They specialize in presenting Gustavian painted furniture and Swedish country styled pieces. They supply directly to private or trade customers worldwide, and network with easy and reliable shipping companies. Daniel is one of six dealers in Decorative Collectives; a new Antiques Center in Petworth, Uk, where he currently features the majority of his stock.
Here are my questions for Daniel:
Q- What had you interested in antiques? Where did that passion come from?
A: I have always been interested in Interior Design and it came rather naturally to me. In my early 20s I got hooked on the modern retro Scandinavian style when I decorated my first apartment. After taking several years to tour the world I settled down with my wife in Helsingborg, Sweden and together we began to make my house a home. A friend recognizing my talent in design approached me and asked if I wanted to start a business selling antiques together. After a couple of years together we eventually decided to each go our own way – but I was hooked! I had been bitten by the antiques bug and I was committed to staying in the trade. I began to concentrate on higher quality Swedish pieces and expand my repertoire in to Baroque, Empire, Rococo and Gustavian pieces.
Q: Was there one antique that you let go, and wish you hadn’t?
A: Sigh… the one that got away. I’m dreaming of a stunning Rococo mirror (see attached pic) that I wished I would have kept for myself. I try not to get too attached to the pieces in my store – but must confess sometimes I sell items to quickly and find I don’t have enough time to enjoy them properly.
Q:Tell us a few keys to look for when determining if a piece of furniture is an authentic antique?
A: The authenticity of antiques is a complex matter, there are great books about the subject but for an untrained eye it can be very hard to spot a fake. A good way to start is by looking at the wood to check if it’s old and has a nice patina. The best thing you can do is to buy from a trustworthy dealer which will be able to give you all the information about the piece so you are sure of what you have bought. And you can always ask for a certificate of authenticity. Another tip is to always check the price, if it is to good to be true… it probably is!
Q:What are the most sought after styles right now? What are people asking you for?
A: The Gustavian style with it’s pale colors is always popular and people are also asking for good Swedish country pieces because they fit perfectly in a modern setting as well. People are looking to mix things up nowadays, it gives more caracter to a home.
Q:Like many of us who are fond of one thing over another when shopping for furniture and decor, is there a particular style or antique that your wife Cristina buys over and over? Tell us her secret antique fetish?
A: Cabinets, She always need to have at least one big cabinet in the showroom. She likes big and impressive things 🙂
Q: For New Buyers, ….what would you suggest to invest in first?
A: Always buy something that you love, follow your heart. If you want something really Swedish go for a tall case painted clock or a Gustavian sofa. Both are very decorative. Another great choice is a Rococo or Gustavian mirror as they are easy to place making a fabulous statement peace.
Q: Many Swedish dealers shun the thought of re-painting antiques. I find many dealers re-painting furniture in the most popular colors such as gray, or white, and others cringe at the thought of disturbing a finish. What are your thoughts on this?
A: The majority of Swedish painted furniture has been painted several times thru the centuries and to find one in original color is extremely difficult nowadays and when you do find them they sell for extraordinary sums. What happens sometimes is that the latest layers of paint are dry scraped to reveal traces of the original color but the majority of times this is not possible because the paint has suffered to much damage thru the years and needs to be repainted. This way the tradition continues. Don’t be mistaken; repainted pieces, if done properly are still highly valued.
Q:From a Small Business point of view, here are some pooled questions that have been asked from small furniture collectors who represent smaller markets:
How would you suggest going about determining the price for an item? Do you recommend reproduction pieces and if so what determines a good piece? How do you go about restoring pieces that are not in tip-top condition?
A: When I determine the price I look at the originality, rarity and quality of a piece. It’s also important to know the market value.
I certainly do recommend reproduction pieces especially when clients are looking for more than one-of-a-kind pieces. What often happens in the hospitality market is that they need many arm chairs of the same model and that is an impossible to find in the antique market.
I always use a specialized furniture carpenter to restore my pieces if they are not in tip – top condition. It’s important that the restoration work is done the traditional way sympathetic to the past.
Q: Finally, what should clients who wish to participate on the hardcore antiquing tours be prepared for?
A: At The Antiques Diva® & Co we’re known for giving clients access to the best little black book of antiquing address on the continent – in Sweden as well as all over Europe. On my tours I really try to educate my clients. All our tours are private and customized – and thus, when a client books a tour we inquire what they’re looking for and then we plan a route that gets them to down the back roads to the places they need to know about. On tour we translate, negotiate and then we liaise with a shipper to help get the goods home sweet home across the pond. While you can book at 1 day tour – real dealers want to delve deep into the countryside – and our trade tours can run 3 or 4 days of hard core antiquing.
Visit Daniel and Cristina’s website dlarssoninterior.com
Follow Daniel on Twitter- here
D.Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel
Wrangelsgatan 13 254 39 Helsingborg, Sweden
+46 73 438 18 43 firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture of Daniel’s Rococo mirror that is sold.
Picture of a 18th Century Baroque Commode that has been repainted.
This picture is taken just last week (2014) of Daniel’s showroom in Helsingborg, Sweden.