Wilhelmina von Hallwyl took great interest and pride in her catalogue. She had decided that all objects within Hallwyl House should be recorded for posterity and that a catalogue should be written and printed.
The Countess (1895) by Julius KronbergHallwyl Museum
The various artefacts in the house were divided into groups, depending on the context. She employed men and women who had graduated from the university and mostly put her servants to work as well. It was a daunting task that lay before them. It took nearly sixty years to complete.
The Catalogue People (1907) by Gustaf SjöbergHallwyl Museum
Group XXX contains memorabilia from the First World War. In the preface she declared that “This group, that only encompasses 23 numbers, might serve as a sort of illustration, however pale and inadequate, of some of the abominations the Great War 1914-1919 resulted in.”
The Allied Forces (1916) by Raoul DufyHallwyl Museum
The group, to be fair, is dominated by memories of shortage of luxury, not witnesses of unspeakable suffering at the front.
Substitute Soap (1917) by unknownHallwyl Museum
Sweden was not one of the belligerents in the Great War. Swedes consequently had great freedom to travel in Europe during the war, compared to other nationalities, and they had the advantage of an undamaged industry.
Watch-chain (1916) by Klein & QuenzerHallwyl Museum
Swedish factories benefited to some extent from the war and the Swedish currency was strong after the war.
A Bag for Gold (1914/1916) by Sveriges Rikes Ständers BankHallwyl Museum
Still, there was a shortage of supply in luxury goods.
Swedish Sugar Substitute (1916) by Farmaceutiska och Kemiska FabrikenHallwyl Museum
The government also took the precaution of filling the storage on a national level that increased the shortage on an individual level. The situation resulted in “jobbery”, profiteering, sharp practices, black trade and smuggling.
A Burgher (1917) by B. MayerHallwyl Museum
But the objects in group XXX are gifts or purchases from German sources. The situation for Countess von Hallwyl was not dangerously affected by the war. She, nevertheless, donated money to the German war effort and bought handicraft from invalids.
Red Cross Medal (1917/1921) by Deutsches Rotes KreuzHallwyl Museum
The collection of memorabilia is truly a “pale and inadequate” illustration of the war, albeit some of the handicraft might be viewed as some of “the abominations the Great War 1914-1919 resulted in”.
An Envelope (1917) by unknownHallwyl Museum
Text: G. Sandell, Swedish History Museums