Nordic Fine Art comprises around 500 lots of Scandinavian and international art and applied art by masters including the Halmstad Group, Anders Zorn, Carl Milles and Josef Frank. It also features eighteenth century furniture, Swedish glass art, ceramic art by Hans Hedberg and exquisite silver. Briefly put, the magnificent collection that Stockholms Auktionsverk has been commissioned to sell contains a very long list of high-class items.
Kjell Hemmingsson is the Småland entrepreneur and sawmill owner who changed track and became an art dealer in Stockholm in the 1990s. He has now decided to gear down and is therefore selling his entire collection at a 2-day auction that Stockholms Auktionsverk will be hosting on 13–14 March. In 2006, Kjell opened his art business under the name of Nordic Fine Art. Through his business and as an exhibitor at art and antique trade fairs in Älvsjö and Helsingborg, Kjell became well-known for his high-class, stylish and largely Scandinavian range. Strong colours and pure lines form a consistent theme in his collection.
In the area of paintings, the collection features both classical canvasses and works by modern, contemporary artists. The Halmstad Group plays a leading role in the collection, with works including Esaias Thorén’s masterful Dansöser, where the rhythmic composition simply exudes 1920s Parisian avant-garde (lot 30, SEK 1–1.2 million). The motif is repeated a little later in the catalogue, where we find an exquisite collection of peerless gouache works created in the period 1928–32 by members of the Halmstad Group. The gouache works were completed during the period the artists spent working in the French capital, where influences from the international masters had a powerful effect on them and inspired them to develop their own modernist style. The Gothenburg Colourists are also represented in the collection, with a variety of colourful and important paintings, including Åke Göransson’s Interiör med sängar (lot 221, SEK 250–300,000). Anders Zorn displays his mastery in reproducing the changing character of water once again in the excellent nude study Två vänner/Väninnor (lot 196, SEK 2–3 million). While World War I was at its height in 1916, Agnes Cleve travelled to New York, where she was captivated by the breath-taking architecture, and let the skyscrapers stand proud as the stars of the modern city in her expressionist composition (lot 152, SEK 200–250,000). The artistic couple Sigrid Hjertén and Isaac Grünewald are represented in the collection with a motif typical of each: Hjertén’s beloved view from the studio out over the red cranes that line the Stadsgården Quay is depicted in Blommor vid fönstret (lot 49, SEK 400–500,000), while Grünewald’s magnificent colours simply explode in Sommarblommor i blå vas (lot 155, SEK 500–700,000). The collection also features Olle Baertling’s monumental BIPAXI from 1959. The work stems from New York and has also been exhibited in Sao Paolo (lot 131, SEK 1–1.5 million). The more contemporary part of the collection is represented here by Rolf Hanson. The collection features several of his powerfully colourist paintings including Omoua (lot 176, SEK 275–300,000).
The applied art section of the collection presents a wonderful mix of modern and antique items. Some of the most eye-catching items are the large collection of strong-fire faience fruit and eggs by the highly respected Hans Hedberg. There are eggs and apples in a variety of sizes and colours, along with some more unusual fruits such as a bunch of grapes in blue and lilac (lot 296, SEK 150–175,000), two red cherries on a bronze stalk, measuring 68 cm in height (lot 297, SEK 275–300,000) and the last lot in the auction (no. 512): an arctic raspberry that harks back to Hedberg’s Norrland heritage (SEK 100–125,000). In the field of ceramic art, we have a fine selection of jugs and dishes by Pablo Picasso, which he created at the Madoura studio in Vallaruris on the French Riviera in the 1950s and 1960s. Of particular note is the magnificent “Laughing-eyed face” jug from 1953 (lot 362, SEK 60–70,000). The silver range comprises a number of magnificent, carefully selected items. A very unusual – if not unique – piece is the 45-cm-high pentagonal vase by Wiwen Nilsson, which was made in 1962 (SEK 150–175,000).
When it comes to Swedish glass art, we must mention two very special lamps made at Orrefors glassworks as early as 1915, with orange flashing and etched chestnut decoration. These lamps were a surprise for the owners – the Ekman family – designed by Axel Enoch Boman and made by the skilful glass-blower Knut Bergqvist. They are 73 cm high, and the estimate for each is SEK 175,000 (lots 388 and 389).
The collection also features many high-class items of furniture from the Baroque period to the present day. For example, there is a writing desk by Nils Ståhl, made in the 1930s in Vimmerby, Kjell Hemmingsson’s “home turf”. Other items include some wonderful works by Josef Frank, such as lot no. 311, the beautiful “National Museum Cabinet” in Amboina root (SEK 80–100,000) and a selection of easy chairs by Mats Theselius, such as “El Dorado” and “the Elk Skin Easy Chair”. From the older items of furniture, we would like to highlight a delightful lounge table made in Stockholm towards the end of the 1700s. The master craftsman who made the table is not known, but it is a work that only one of the true greats from Stockholm could have created. Niclas Korp (active in Stockholm in the period 1771–1800) is, however, identified as the master behind the beautiful Gustavian bureau that is listed as lot no. 482 (estimate, SEK 80–100,000).
Nordic Fine Art -
The Kjell Hemmingsson Collection
Viewing: 7-12 March
Auction: 13-14 March
Nybrogatan 32, Stockholm, Sweden
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