Not currently on display at the V&A

Coffee Service

1944-1945 (designed and made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Wiven Nilsson served his apprenticeship in his father's workshop in Lund. He is considered one of the most important Swedish silversmiths of the first half of the twentieth century and was a formative influence on such people as Sigurd Persson (1914-2003) and Birger Haglund (1918-2006), the two most distinguished Swedish silversmiths of the post-war generation. The rigorously geometric character of this service is the ultimate extension of functionalist and abstract theory, achieved by Swedish design in the 1930s and 1940s. However, Nilsson often softened his forms by adding a reeded moulding at the edge or by introducing a gentle curve as is evident here.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Coffee Pot
  • Cream Jug
  • Sugar Box
  • Key
Brief Description
Coffee service consisting of coffee pot, creamer and sugar box, silver and ivory, Sweden, Lund, 1944-45, designed and made by Wiven Nilsson.
Physical Description
Coffee service consisting of a coffee pot, creamer and sugar box, silver and ivory. The coffee pot and creamer are octagonal in cross section. The body is constructed of eight panels and tapers towards the top, swells outwards towards the base and returns inwards as it approaches the foot. The flared foot is octagonal, echoing the form of the body. The spout is simple `V' in cross section with a long neck, almost the length of the vessel. The handle is square in cross section and in the form of an arc. The top finishes flush with the rim; the lower end terminates at the widest point of the vessel. The coffee pot has, in addition, two square ivory insulators with chamfered edges at either end of the handle, secured by pins on either side. It also has a domed lid, octagonal in cross section attached to the body by a plain hinge at the rear and is surmounted by a small, faceted finial. The sugar box, again octagonal in cross section, of bombé form. The lid, slightly domed rises to a rectangular finial with chamfered corners. A key hole has been cut in the centre of the front panel. The key has a short barrel, one plain ward and a plain circular bow.
Style
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • The state mark for Sweden, the town mark for Lund, the sponsor's mark for A. Nilsson, the date letters for 1944 (creamer and sugar bowl) and for 1945 (the coffee pot).
  • Engraved with the signature of Wiven Nilsson.
Object history
A water jug, made by Nilsson in 1941 in the collections of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, is similar to the coffee pot except that it has no lid, the handle is of ebony and the height is only 21.5 cm. It is illustrated in Scandinavian Modern Design 1880-1980, ed. David McFadden, New York, Cooper Hewitt Museum, 1980.
Summary
Wiven Nilsson served his apprenticeship in his father's workshop in Lund. He is considered one of the most important Swedish silversmiths of the first half of the twentieth century and was a formative influence on such people as Sigurd Persson (1914-2003) and Birger Haglund (1918-2006), the two most distinguished Swedish silversmiths of the post-war generation. The rigorously geometric character of this service is the ultimate extension of functionalist and abstract theory, achieved by Swedish design in the 1930s and 1940s. However, Nilsson often softened his forms by adding a reeded moulding at the edge or by introducing a gentle curve as is evident here.
Collection
Accession Number
M.24A-1989

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL