Rugs from Scandinavia – Below is our collection mid century modern of vintage rugs and carpets from Scandinavia. The below carpets are from the Mid 20th century and represent breathtaking examples of rugs from the Scandinavia region in northern Europe. Each on these rugs was hand picked and selected for its beauty as well as its condition. We urge you to contact us if you see anything that peaks your interest or if you have any questions.
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For the most part, we try to post all the rugs from Scandinavia that we get to our website as soon as possible. That said, sometimes it might take a few days. So with that in mind, if you searched through our carpet collection and did not find what you are looking for then you should still reach out and email us. We just might have the perfect piece but have not had the opportunity to post it online yet.
When using the word “Scandinavia” it is most often referring to these three countries Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Some people will and do pose the argument that Finland should be included in Scandinavia due to their geologic and economic standings. And lest not forget those that argue for the inclusion of Iceland as well as the Faroe Islands because their peoples speak the North Germanic / Scandinavian languages which do relate to the languages spoken in both Norway and Sweden.
For the most part, the rugs from Scandinavia will include mostly those that were woven in Sweden and Denmark.
History of Scandinavia Folk Art Traditions and Common Motifs
Swedish Scandinavia Folk Art — Folk art is as old as human civilization. Created by untrained artists for decorative and symbolic purposes, folk art gives an insight into the local culture and traditions of the time.
Scandinavia has rich and colorful folk art traditions because the region was somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe until relatively recently. Therefore, its folk art and traditional handicraft evolved largely untouched by mainstream European culture.
Rather than becoming a weakness, it has become a strength, which is evident from the influence that Scandinavia folk art has on modern art and design.
The history of folk art from Scandinavia can be traced back to the Viking period, when the marauding seafarers did not just terrorize the shores of western and northern Europe, but also created beautiful works of art in their free time.
The most prized possession of the Vikings were their ships, which were used for both war and trade. Excavated Viking ships have shown that they were richly decorated with pictures of interwoven animals and mythical beasts.
Folk art from Scandinavia also draws heavily from fables and allegories. The vintage carpet above, on the left, shows the story of Nils Holgersson, a folk tale about a badly behaved boy who is cursed by a Tomte, or Swedish elf, and is shrunken to only inches tall.
After climbing on the back of a domestic goose on his family farm, the goose flies away and joins a pack of wild geese, and Nils and the goose go on a series of adventures.
Even after the people in Scandinavia converted to Christianity, they continued to use tightly rendered depictions of animals and mythical beasts enmeshed in thick vine work as their main motifs. A fine example of this is the decoration carved on the wooden doors of the Stave Church in Urnes, Norway.
In the following centuries, when Christian missionaries were aggressively promoting Christian motifs, the Scandinavian people held on to their indigenous art form.
During the Middle Age, the warring days of the Vikings came to an end. As the culture of Scandinavia transitioned to focus more on agriculture and industry than conquering, folk art began to reflect more peaceful symbols, such as flowers, birds and human figures.
These motifs were deeply tied to legends, stories, and fables in Scandinavian culture. Because of its unique combination of beauty and simplicity, this style continues to be popular today.
Folk art’s purpose is to reflect culture and beliefs, but also to decorate the mundanities of life, and to bring pleasure to everyday tasks. For this reason, these motifs are commonly found on everyday household items, such as doors and windows, traditional water jars and buckets, board games, weather-vanes, clocks and textiles.
They are instantly recognizable as folk art because of the simplistic design and recognizable forms. Folk art and motifs are a common feature of carpets and rugs from Scandinavia. The motifs that are commonly used on rugs are geometric shapes, which are repeated over and over; but flowers and animals are also used sometimes. Minimalist, beautiful and elegant, these rugs and carpets are a class apart.