Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Week7: Swedish Horse in English Home

Can you spot the horse, aka "Dalahäst" in the photo? Saturday my host took me to his friend's birthday party. I'm not very good at small talk, but was relieved when I spotted the traditional Swedish wooden red horse in the bookshelf, giving me a reason to ask questions. It turned out that the birthday girl had bought it when browsing e-bay for "something red and ornamental".

Originally the Dalahäst was made as a bi-product to the furniture carpentry industry in the 17th century in the county of Dalarna. The mass industry of this horse started after it had been exhibited at the World Fair in New York in 1939. However each horse is still handcrafted and hand-painted in the kurbitz-style, apparently involving nine different people. So if you want "something red and ornamental" to put in your IKEA bookshelf, why not? To read more about the history of the Dalahäst click here.



  1. I have one of those from visiting Sweden as a child. I wonder where it is now?

  2. Thanks Louise,

    I know you wanted us to have a better reason for having the horse in our home. So...

    My Dad was a man who would occasionally gallop into the woods on all fours, paint himself red and roll in mud. I guess this horse kind of reminded me of him (but a more static and thoughtful version of my Dad). When My Dad was asked why he did that sort of thing, he would of course reply "HHHHHoooorrrssse-play" with an added grunt and a long "Neeeeeeh" and a toss of his shoulder length mane of golden hair. I would then ride him around the garden till he got so very tired (shouting, Dance Bitch!).
    P.S. Do Ikea have a monopoly on white shelving, I think they do
    P.P.S. Nice meeting you the other day, hope England finds you well:)

  3. Jason: that's the best reason I've ever heard for having a wooden horse in your book shelf! Made my day :)

  4. My mum just left a message on my Swedish blog (www.livinglollo.blogg.se) saying that she had put my deceased granny's Dalahäst in the bin!