So relaxing, so serene is the sight of the rocking chair, standing there in the corner of the room, its runners resting on the snug pile of a traditional Scandinavian rya rug.


It looks so inviting, so welcoming – newly upholstered and sporting smart new covers.

Is it perhaps the extended arm of the cradle, the baby buggy pushed to and fro, the swing in the park that we can once more set in motion? That gentle rocking movement accompanies us on our journey through life.

Swan 3
….gracefully carved swans’ heads

Outside the window, directly opposite the chair, a couple of swans are swimming gracefully in the water. It seems almost too good to be true, for on the front of the rocker’s armrests, two equally gracefully carved swans’ heads provide the perfect grip for your hands as you rock slowly back and forth.

Swans are said to be a symbol of purity, inner beauty and elegance, but also of vitality and healing energy.

In art the swan is encountered in, for example, paintings by Correggio from the 1500s and Boucher in the 1700s in contexts that place the bird centre-stage in one of the enduring myths of Ancient Greece.

Swan 2

Queen Leda was secretly admired by Zeus, who transformed himself into a swan in order to approach her. To aid him he had Aphrodite; she had promised to turn herself into an eagle that would chase the apparently terrified swan straight into the open arms of the compassionate Leda.

Rocking gently in the chair, allowing your thoughts to wander as you gaze through the window at the swans swimming in the shallows, inspires the most beautiful of daydreams. That’s surely a pastime we all need to indulge in from time to time.


The chair dates from the 1800s and is fashioned in mahogany.

There is a similar rocking chair in the collections of the Nordic Museum in Stockholm. That one was purchased for 80 Swedish kronor (a little less than £7) at an auction in 1903. In today’s money that’s the equivalent of approximately 4,500 kronor (£382). Sadly, however, little else is known about the purchase that was made in 1903.

Gun Bjerkander Handberg

Note From The Editor:

We have been so thrilled and delighted to see that this blog is being read all over the globe, which is fabulous for us as we sit in our little coastal village in Southern Sweden!

Do please leave a comment saying where you are from and what chairs you have in your home and share your favorite chair tales.

You can find books by the author Gun Bjerkander Handberg online featuring more historic chair tales.

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