Mid Century Makers: Karl Andersson & Söner
If you are of a certain age and, like us, are partial to a bit of soccerball, the sight of the name K. Andersson might conjure images of a tall, blonde striker plundering a hatful of goals as Sweden romped to a third-place finish at World Cup USA ’94.
As enjoyable as it is to relive these moments, however, the K. Andersson that we really care for pre-dates this remarkable achievement by almost 100 years.
That guy was one Karl Andersson, a single-minded yet brilliant fellow who turned a room in his parents’ house into a workshop from which he produced expertly crafted furniture using quality, durable materials.
Of course, that in itself is not particularly interesting. What is noteworthy, however, is that the company he founded is still operating in almost the exact same location today.
A cynic might read that and say, “yeah, but I bet the current offering looks nothing like the original.”
Yes and no. Sure, the equipment and scale may have changed but there are some fundamentals that are non-negotiable to these guys.
“& Söner” is Swedish for “& sons” and it’s in the company’s title because Andersson’s kids became involved at an early juncture and eventually took over the reins.
What it also means is that the ethos of producing, as Karl himself said, “well-made and durable” furniture was retained long after the company's founder had retired.
Again, a cynic might say: “how would you know?”
Well that’s an easy one. We know this because we deal with the output from this era on a regular basis and we can attest to its quality.
What makes this company really special, though, is the fact that his grandchildren now run the business according to the same principles.
In fact, the company still only employs around 35 staff and it retains the strapline: “Handmade in Huskvarna. Since 1898.”
We think that’s something and we also think it cements how keenly we admire the mid-century originals that we have acquired.
What is more, we also believe it deserves just about as much recognition (from the UK at least) for getting a bronze medal in a football tournament.
And with that in mind, here is a quick cheat-sheet on Andersson and Söner.
Where to Buy Karl Andersson & Söner Furniture?
As we have already mentioned in the set up, Andersson & Söner is still active and thriving.
While you can’t buy direct from their website, you can easily find a list of stockists who can provide you with the pieces you need.
Mid century Andersson & Söner pieces are, unsurprisingly, harder to come by. As per usual, the best place to start is with the re-sellers like 1st Dibs and Pamono.
However, we must also mention that we regularly acquire Andersson & Söner pieces for our inventory so this site is also a damned fine place to start.
Where is Karl Andersson & Söner From?
They have been operational in just about the same spot since 1898.
What did Karl Andersson & Söner do?
Simply put, they built up a reputation for producing high-quality, expertly-made furniture from very humble beginnings and turned that into a successful business.
It is now an internationally recognised and renowned furniture manufacturer that has maintained its presence despite countless shifts in trends.
They also collaborated with some of the best furniture designers in history such as Børge Mogensen and were instrumental in bringing Scandinavian Modern to the world stage.
Where was Karl Andersson & Söner furniture made?
All of it. One place, one hundred and something years. Warms the heart, that.
What is Karl Andersson & Söner Furniture Made From?
High. Quality. Materials.
Expect to see a lot of teak and oak, particularly in the mid-century originals.
You can also find pieces made with steel, plastic and aluminium but that’s not really our bag so we’ll let someone else discuss those collections.
How to Identify Karl Andersson & Söner Furniture
Almost everything we have sourced has borne the very distinct Andersson & Söner logo (as pictured at the top of this page).
The folks in the labelling department also often very kindly highlighted who designed the piece (as above).
This is great news for buyers and sellers alike.
Andersson and Söner furniture will also be finished to a very high standard. Expect, for example, the likes of exposed, brass hinges that add visual interest to a piece.
What is Karl Andersson & Söner Most Famous For?
Making very good furniture.
They also famously collaborated with the likes of Professor Calm Malmsten and the inimitable Børge Mogensen, whom we love dearly.
In fact, Andersson and Söner played a central role in Mogensen’s Øresund project, which basically tried to solve every storage need in any home forever and ever, Amen.
It is worth looking in to.
What’s Karl Andersson & Söner’s Most Famous Design?
A good question. The aforementioned Øresund range would have to be up there.
However, it might be the work of Andersson’s youngest son, Göran Malmvall, that wins first prize here. His KA72 cabinet series can be found in offices and embassies throughout the world.
Is Karl Andersson & Söner Furniture Valuable?
The short answer to that is yes. Interestingly, even from the beginning, Karl Andersson was considered "the best, though, the most expensive professional in the area".
As ever, value is dependent on condition but, given how good the materials used were, finding pieces worth acquiring is less challenging than you might expect.
It must be said, however, that Andersson & Söner is not necessarily the sexiest name in the industry. France & Son, for example, would likely fetch a higher price so don’t expect to retire on one good find.
How to Care for Your Karl Andersson & Söner Furniture?
It is highly unlikely that you will have to spend any amount of time caring for your Andersson and Söner furniture.
In most cases, a coat of Danish oil every six months will see you right.
Because a lot of the pieces are made from solid wood, you will be able to sand and varnish away most major issues.
But only take on these jobs if the piece really needs it. It takes more effort to get a consistent finish than you might think.