A short story about smoking paraphenalia in Hallwyl House.
Hallwyl House was commissioned by Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl in the 1890’s. The architect Isak Gustaf Clason placed the Smoking Room on the first floor. (Lower right corner of the drawing.)
The room should be considered a semi-formal sphere where Count von Hallwyl could enjoy a quiet smoke on his own or gather male guests after a formal dinner. (The ladies retired to the Ladies’ Boudoir on formal occasions.)
Smoking was perceived to be an oriental custom and a smoking room should therefore represent a Turkish/Arabic tent overladen with carpets and fabric. The fashion of the time required a substantial number of other objects as well.
Most noteworthy is the portrait of Wilhelmina von Hallwyl above the fireplace. It is also a clear sign that this is the master’s room; his portrait hangs above her writing desk in the Morning Room.
Family photographs are displayed on his desk.
On one wall hangs a portrait of his grandson Rolf de Maré.
In the middle of the room hangs a large painting, “After the Chase” by Abraham Hondius executed in 1651. It is a risqué subject, comparing the hunt for game with the hunt for women, considered appropriate for a man’s study.
This was most likely an ink pot of oriental origin, but used as an ashtray in Hallwyl House.
This ashtray follows a popular masculine motif: the hunt.
Walther von Hallwyl smoked cigars most of the time, several each day in fact.
Perhaps it is not surprising to find this martial motif on this Christmas gift. Walther von Hallwyl served as an officer in the Swiss army for two decades before moving permanently to Sweden.
Many objects in Hallwyl Hous bears the crowned monogram W. v. H., which luckily enough could mean both Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl.
A fair number of the ashtrays in the collection are Christmas gifts from Walther's children or their spouses.
Walther von Hallwyl had a reputation for enjoying funny figures. It was fairly easy to find the right gift for Christmas. (The toy pig he got in 1912 was a great success. See XXVII:II.E.09.)
The red pig was, quite fittingly, a Christmas gift.
Match-boxes and cigar lighters are, naturally, also included in the collections.
Text: G. Sandell, National Historical Museums.