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Antique style with modern function
The house at Hamngatan 4 in Stockholm was completed in 1898 and was one of the most expensive private homes in Sweden around the turn of the century 1900. The palace comprises 40 rooms spread over five floors. The architect Isak Gustaf Clason was partly freehanded by the couple in the creation of the house, which both outside and inside represent historical styles. For example, the facade is inspired by Spanish and Italian Renaissance buildings and the grand décor is a mix of 17th and 18th century. The house, despite its ancient exterior, was modern for its time. Features like central heating, central vacuum cleaner, electric lift and bathroom made the building unique.
Wilhelmina Hallwyl spend all their time on preserving and categorizing her home and prepare it to after the couple's death it would be opened as a museum. Just everything was cataloged, big and small pieces, from valuable collectibles such as paintings, antique furniture and porcelain to more trivial everyday items such as toilet paper, pens and desk chairs.
Collector & eccentric
Countess Hallwyl was one of Sweden's largest collectors of arts and crafts at the turn of the 19th century. At that time, collecting was a common interest but was seen with different eyes for men and women. Men's collecting was seen as a serious and sincere interest, while women's collections were more viewed as luxury consumption. It is understood that Wilhelmina must have been something eccentric who breaks norms in several ways. As the founder of her own museum but also as a collector of objects seen as typical for men. In addition to porcelain and art, Wilhelmina also collects antique armor and weapons. And it is not by chance, in her annual notes, she has shared her thoughts and views on women's rights, and you understand that Wilhelmina deliberately ignores expectations.
Visit the museum
The museum, which is 80 years old and is found at Hamngatan 4 in Stockholm, is well worth a visit, partly to view the impressive collection and catalog consisting of 78 volumes and a total of 50-60,000 items but perhaps most for an insight in what life was about the turn of the century in the upper-class Stockholm. And of course, to take a look at the magnificent palace and its interior.