Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

Nolbyn made by Berith Bergström by Christine Kainu

Nolbyn table, chairs and sofa. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

Berith Bergström (1896-1979) was a native of the central west Swedish province of Värmland. She was number 11 of 12 children and grew up in Bosjön outside Filipstad. She was partly educated at what was the former College of Arts (in Stockholm) and later in Vienna, Austria. She designed wallpaper and created scale models, which were in 1:10 scale.

For a time, she had worked at Skansen (an open air museum and zoo on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm, which shows the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era), where she became very fond of Skogaholm mansion, built in 1680.

 

Left, Berith Bergström, © nwt.se 

https://www.nwt.se/filipstad/article1137754.ece

 

 

In 1940, she built Villa Edros, a copy of one of the wings of Skogaholm mansion, at Lersjöed Lertorpet north of Filipstad in her native Värmland.  Berith Bergstrom and her sisters Ragnhild and Ingrid spent much time there. Together with her niece and nephew (Gunvor Uggla and Ingmar Bergström), Berith Bergström began to create a miniature village on a headland north of the villa. The village was built with her childhood village Bosjön as a model. Because the small village was on the promontory, north of the residence, it was called the Nolbyn. 

 

 Filipstad in Värmland is shown by the blue tag on this map of Sweden. © Google Maps

 

 

 From 1938-1973, Berith Bergström had a business called ''Lilla Bod'' (Little Shed) in Stockholm. She took orders and reconstructed homes in miniature. The ideas for her drawings she received from the real life environment and reduced carefully to 1:10 scale. 

Left, the stamp reads Nolbyn Värmlandskt hantwerk (Värmland handicrafts). Photo © Carola Eriksson

 

A Nolbyn mirror, with the stamp on the upper decoration. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

In the actual construction of the furniture, she had the help of Calle Gustafsson who worked with a jigsaw, and Gustav Dahlström who made miniatures of chandeliers and lamps for the dolls houses. Calle Gustafsson's wife Anna painted the furniture. Berith Bergström’s sisters were also put to work. It is said that they even crocheted potholders with the help of pins.  

 

A Nolbyn dolls house on display at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Photo © Christine Kainu

 

Berith Bergström’s miniatures have been exhibited in both Germany and the United States. Princess Sybilla, mother of the current king of Sweden, bought a dollhouse for her daughters the princesses.

 

Nolbyn table, chairs and sofa. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

When Berith Bergstrom passed away in 1979 the Foundation Albert and Maria Bergström became the owner of Villa Edros, which is open to visitors on one weekend in summer.

 

A Nolbyn dolls house: above, the front; below, from the side. Photos © Carola Eriksson www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

 

Nolbyn dolls in the bedrooms of this dolls house. Photos © Carola Eriksson www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

 

A Nolbyn cabinet dolls house. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

Interior of the Nolbyn cabinet house. Photo © Carola Eriksson www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

Living room of the Nolbyn cabinet house. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

Nolbyn kitchen accessories. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

The interior of a 3 storey Nolbyn cabinet dolls house. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

 The library of the 3 storey cabinet house, with wallpaper found in Villa Edros. The tall cupboard, the clock and tray table are by Carin Backlund, and fit in very well with the Nolbyn furniture. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

Detail of the stairs in the 3 storey cabinet house. The shelf should be on the wall! Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

A Nolbyn dining room. Photo © Christine Kainu

 

Another Nolbyn dining room. Photo © Christine Kainu 

 

A Nolbyn bedroom.  Photo © Christine Kainu

 

A Nolbyn bed with original bedding. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

 

A Nolbyn kitchen.  Photo © Christine Kainu

 

 Another Nolbyn kitchen. Photo © Carola Eriksson, www.carolas-dollhouses.com

 

You can read more about Nolbyn in the book Dockskåp & Miniatyrer (Dollhouses & Miniatures), by Birgitta Lindencrona.

 

References:

Dockskåp & Miniatyrer, by Birgitta Lindecrona, published by Värmlands Museum, 2008

Berith Bergströms dollhouses and miniatures shown, by Britta Staake, published in Värmlands Folkblad, 20 July 2011 http://vf.se/kultur-noje/kultur/berith-bergstroms-dockskap-och-miniatyrer-visas

 

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