Beautiful Small Vintage Scandinavian by Barbro Nilsson for Marta Maas Rug, Country Of Origin: Sweden, Circa Date: Mid-20th Century – This gorgeous geometric Scandinavian rug was created for the Marta Maas Rug company by Barbro Nilsson, making it a rare mid-20th century classic. During the middle portion of the 20th century, Sweden experienced a Renaissance of handcrafts, and this trend influenced designs all over the world. Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom is a designer who achieved world-class recognition for her handcrafted carpets. In later years, she often enlisted other designers to create her famous rugs.
Barbro Nilsson was a designer who achieved fame as a Marta Maas student and would later become the director of the company. Her designs are known for extraordinary use of color. Many of Nilsson’s early designs show the influence of her predecessor in that they emphasize line more than color. This particular piece is an excellent example of a piece that emphasized both line and color and shows the influence of both designers.
In this piece, Nilsson used neutral grays and creams to tone down brilliant, fiery reds. One of the characteristics that stand out about this piece is the use of highlights, mid-tones, and deeper tones to create a feeling of depth. This allowed her to emphasize different geometric components and draw the eye to certain areas within the piece. This piece uses a design that is separated horizontally, and that also uses asymmetry to create two separate areas.
Nilsson arranged the colors in a way that creates motion that seems to flow inward in the bottom half and outward in the top half. Careful placement of the light and darker colors creates this flow, along with the use of radiating lines from the center. This masterfully created design is an excellent example of the reasons why the works of Marta Maas and Barbro Nilsson became some of the most collectible pieces, both in their time and today.
This gorgeous piece is perfect for a vintage mid-century collection, but it would also be an excellent addition to a contemporary room that uses neutrals and color blocking. Authentic vintage pieces such as these are finding their way into contemporary designs to add interest and a retro flavor to the interior design.