Norwegian Tines, Swedish Svepask, or Scandinavian Bentwood Boxes

 The premier site for Antique & Artisan Scandinavian Boxes on the Internet, available at

 Sweetpea Cottage on Ruby Lane.

 Menu:  Home Hot Glass Shop at Sweetpea Cottage  Wood Shop at Sweetpea Cottage   History of Scandinavian Bentwood Boxes

In addition to tines and other bentwood boxes, at Sweetpea Cottage we also specialize in a variety of other wooden items of Scandinavian origin.  These pieces of folkart can vary widely in form and artistic qualities.  In all cases, they represent different important aspects of Scandinavian life.  In many cases the decorative components of a piece will be similar to themes found on bentwood boxes.  In other cases, they can vary and deviate widely from the forms that are commonly encountered. . Located to the left is a Norwegian storage box or document box.  This beautifully box has a wonderful painted simulated grain pattern that combines with the diamond shaped open grill work motif to create a most unusual looking piece.  One of the two end boards lifts up allowing the top to slide off revealing access to the inside.  In addition, there is a hidden compartment that has a pullout drawer.  Boxes such as this were frequently used to store value items or documents in early Norwegian homes.  The vibrant colors helped to brighten up the home during the cold and dark Norwegian winters.

Any household would place great value on storage.  In Scandinavian homes they would often have a variety of containers available to store important materials and would frequently decorate these storage boxes in a way to help add cheer to their surroundings.  On the left is small wooden trunk (kiste) that would have probably been used for storing incidentals in the home.   It has been beautifully decorated with a traditional rosemaling design in the Os style that will brighten anybody's attitude.  On the right is a Swedish box that was probably used for home storage of important items or documents.  It is signed with the owners initials and dated "1806."  Inside there is a small till much like would be found in American blanket chests.  The box is decorated with a traditional style of Swedish painting known as "kurbits."  This box is also unusual because it has canted sides which do not seem to have any practical purpose but serve to create visual interest.

Mangle boards or mangletraer are objects often found in Scandinavian homes.  Each of the Scandinavian countries has its own version of these beautifully carved pieces.  Many times they are associated with personal meaning or significance to the owner.  While their primary intent was to be used for smoothing linens, they were commonly given by a man to his future bride as a gift of betrothal.  Due to their association with such significant occasions, they were very often heavily decorated both with carvings and paint.  Many of them would be dated and carry the intials of the woman and possibly the man.  The handles on Norwegian and Swedish mangle boards are frequently found with carved horse handles that have been carefully dovetailed into the board.  The horses, themselves, serve as very important artistic elements.   Many times they are elaborated carved and then decorated with paint.  Besides being a token of commitment and love, these boards were also used by the man to show off his skills at wood carving and working with tools.  The implication being that the more beautifully done the board was, the better a husband and provider the man would be.

Presently under construction.




If you are interested in obtaining additional information about Norwegian artifacts, you might find it helpful to visit the website for the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum.  The museum also maintains a staff of individuals who can be reached via email to help you with researching your own objects.  I want to thank the museum for the assistance that they have provided to me.



Interested in owning a beautiful piece of folk art such as these items? Many of these items and more are available for purchase in our shop.  Be sure to visit  Sweetpea Cottage on Ruby Lane .

Be sure to look us up on the Web at Sweetpea Cottage on Ruby Lane

Email us directly at:

Copyright 2014