The red, wooden and hand-painted Swedish horse is the symbol of Sweden and the Dalarna region, where I had the pleasure to live and study. The Dala Horse appears on everything: on a package of typical crunchy bread, as a keychain, on napkins, jerseys and many more. Traditionally produced in Nusnäs (about 80 km from Falun) is well known by everyone in Sweden and its popularity has not diminished for years. But instead of Sweden, I found him in Austrian Graz – now the figure is proudly decorating my wall. Where did it come from and why I didn’t buy it earlier?
|My pretty Swedish horse fits perfectly to my white interior|
In Sweden everyone knows it – because how could you not know the symbol of the heart of the country? If you are interested in its history and the way it is manufactured, read more on Real Scandinavia (in English), where the traditional way of producing these Swedish decorations is described. You can also read about these famous Dalahast horses on the blog written by a Polish woman living in Sweden – Polka w Szwecji. Swedes believe that this horse brings luck and I also believe that it is so! How else can I explain that my dream item has found me in Austria?
|Personalized camera strap always reminds me of Sweden|
How much does a real Swedish Dala Horse cost?
Although the price may seem surprising, remember that each of the horses is unique, made from wood and hand-painted for generations. For a 25cm Dala Horse, we will pay 1195SEK (Swedish Kroner), which is… 123euro! Prices depend on the size and they usually start from 125SEK (12euro) for a horse sized of just 3cm. And the biggest, 75cm reaches the price up to 12995SEK (1347euro)! You will find more information about the horses at Nils Olsson Dalahästar. Do not get confused by some cheap online auctions or store offers, because in most cases these are simply manufactured in China, often made as plastic replicas.
|The price of the Dala Horse comes with its quality|
My dream Dalarna Horse is of course red, often called Falu Rödfärg, Swedish red or Falu Red. The shade of this particular red comes from the pigment extracted from the copper factory in the city – and although this place is not functioning anymore (but can be visited), this shade of red can be found almost all over Sweden. It is in this shade that all the famous red houses are painted. However, Dala Horses also appear in various editions – blue, black, green, white, and also completely without color, so you can paint them yourself and create a unique pattern. Swedish stores also offer other items decorated in a similar way, but it is the horse that remains as the main country symbol. Some of my readers have certainly also paid attention to my personalized camera strap, which, in addition to my name, also has this famous horse stitched on.
|Dala Horse and other Swedish decors has always been my style!|
Why so late?
I have been dreaming of it since the first day in Sweden, but I do not hide the fact that at that time I had significantly different financial priorities than spending more than 100euros for the purchase of a horse – even if that was the dream horse. But I did not want to agree on any half-measure in the form of a plastic or a Chinese counterpart and to find the perfect one I had to wait until 3 years later! I still can’t believe that so much time has passed since I first appeared in Sweden. Having enjoyed the Scandinavian regions and student life, I knew that Dala Horse would someday be mine and decorate my equally dreamed Scandinavian apartment (or, ultimately, the red house!). Looking at the local antique and vintage shop I did not expect to see it on one of the pictures. Especially for the price of… 15 euros! I immediately wrote a message that I would like to book it and pick it up the next day. To my delight the seller pulled all the horses they had in the store to let me choose from the larger variety, but I was only interested in this one. Comes from the time period of 1970-1980! I hope it will really become lucky to me and in a few years, or so, will decorate my dream Swedish house.
Vintage shop in Graz
The above mentioned antique shop is “Kind & Kegel Antik + Second Hand + Vintage Design” and it’s located on Jakoministraße 28, 8010 Graz in Austria. I have never been particularly interested in antique shops or vintage shops, but now I see how much I’ve missed. Not only we don’t additionally destroy the environment, because we buy only what was previously produced and wandered from hand to hand, but also we have a chance to buy a truly unique piece at a much lower price.
What kind of treasured did you find in any vintage store? And what do you think of Swedish decorations?