The Royal Collections
The Royal Collections have grown over a period of more than 400 years, from the time of King Gustav Vasa to the present day. They include everything from humble utensils to decorative pieces of international significance.
Some of these objects date back to the time of the former Tre Kronor Palace, while others are from the 50 years when the Royal Family lived at the Wrangel Palace on Riddarholmen. Most, however, were acquired since the Royal Family moved into the present Royal Palace in the mid-19th century.
In order to furnish the new palace, large quantities of furniture were commissioned included sets of many dozens of chairs – from simple seats to ornate gilded armchairs and stools for audiences and other ceremonies. The furniture was mostly manufactured in Stockholm. Other pieces were imported, including bronze items such as chandeliers, wall sconces and candelabra, as well as various clocks – particularly during the time of King Karl Johan.
Some of the most opulent objects were gifts from foreign heads of state and individuals. One such gift is the magnificent silver throne from Augsburg, which was given to Queen Kristina before her coronation in 1650.
Other examples include extravagant gifts received by King Gustav III and his brother King Fredrik Adolf from the French kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, such as ranges of woven tapestries from France's Les Gobelins workshops and porcelain dinner services from Sèvres.
The most recent objects in the Royal Collections can be seen in King Carl XVI Gustaf's Jubilee Room at the Royal Palace, with gifts to mark The King's 25th jubilee in 1998.
Additional pieces from the collections can be seen at the other royal palaces.
The Swedish Regalia
The Royal Collections include the Swedish Regalia – the principal symbols of the monarchy – which are on display in the Treasury at the Royal Palace. The oldest objects in the Treasury are King Gustav Vasa's two Swords of State. The oldest crown is that belonging to King Erik XIV. The Treasury is also home to several crowns belonging to Swedish princes and princesses, as well as the silver baptismal font which was commissioned in 1696 and is used at royal christenings.
The Treasury should not be confused with the Treasury Collection, which was created mainly by Queen Hedvig Eleonora. The Treasury Collection can be seen in Karl XI's Gallery in the State Apartments, and consists of purely decorative items made from expensive materials such as semi-precious stones, rock crystal and amber.
The Bernadotte Library's collections
The Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace contains the Bernadotte Dynasty's books, from King Karl XIV Johan to King Gustaf VI Adolf and their queens. It also includes the Bernadotte photograph collection, as well as maps, illustrations, congratulatory addresses and sheet music.
The Office of the Royal Collections
The Office of the Royal Collections manages and cares for the Royal Collections. The objects that make up the Royal Collections are carefully looked after to ensure that they are available for the Head of State, and for researchers and visitors both now and in the future. Individual items are lent out – with The King's approval – for inclusion in exhibitions, both in Sweden and abroad.
The Office of the Royal Collections has employees with various different skills, including officials, librarians, textile, furniture and metal curators, gilders, furniture-makers, upholsterers and seamstresses. The collections mainly belong to the Head of State, and thus to the Swedish state, and are placed at the disposal of the reigning monarch. Additional collections consist of The King's private possessions or are included in royal foundations that have been established to prevent objects being shared and dispersed when distributing an estate.
Top image: The "hunting rug" is a rarity from the Royal Collections. It is one of the world's finest oriental rugs, woven using silk in Persia in the mid-16th century, and the best preserved example from the period. It is stored in the tapestry warehouse of the Office of the Royal Collections, and is only displayed on special occasions. Photo: Emma Fredriksson/Royalpalaces.se