Historic interiors

160 years of furniture history

When Gabriel Schanche Kielland built Ledaal as his summer residence, he introduced elements of a continental upper-class lifestyle to Stavanger. France, England and the Netherlands set the trends in style and taste for the city’s nouveau riche, a fact which the house’s interior still bears witness of today. In a small town like Stavanger, this grand mansion was in a class of its own. Its furnishings largely reflect Neoclassical ideals that were inspired by the visual language of antiquity.

The house has been restored as much as possible to the way it was in 1850. It contains Stavanger’s largest collection of antique furniture. The oldest pieces date back to the early 1700s and the most recent to 1863. The rooms therefore represent 160 years of furniture history, from Baroque and Rococo to Louis XVI, Empire and Biedermeier styles. The house’s art collection contains paintings by, among others, the well-known Norwegian artists Eilef Petersen, Thomas Fearnley and Knut Baade.

On the ground floor is the royal apartment, also the kitchen with hearth and objects that were used here. One floor up, you can see rooms that were used for entertaining as well as the library. The furniture here is mainly German-inspired Biedermeier, but there is also some Norwegian and Danish furniture in the Empire style. All three of the rooms used for entertaining have French curtains that were bought for the house in about 1820. The wood stoves are from the ironworks Nes Jernverk. The walls are hung with Italian engravings, paintings of the house from different periods, and a portrait of the builder G.S. Kielland himself, which he commissioned in 1787. The library contains a writing table and other objects that belonged to the author Alexander Kielland.

In the attic’s large central room, there is an exhibition of glass, porcelain and other paraphernalia related to the house and the Kielland family.