Swedish auction house to sell Ingmar Bergman's possessions

Charlotte Webb
Charlotte Webb - [email protected]
Swedish auction house to sell Ingmar Bergman's possessions

Later this month, Bukowski's in Stockholm is set to auction the possessions of beloved Swedish film director, Ingmar Bergman, who died in 2007 at the age of 89.


Interest in the life and work of one of Sweden's most famous son has attracted prospective buyers from around the world.

"We have had a lot of interest from people in the United States and Europe, with a lot of people pre-ordering the catalogue," Bukowski's spokeswoman Charlotte Bergström told The Local.

The decision to auction the collection of 337 items is in line with Bergman's express wishes, a fact that Bukowski's website substantiates with an excerpt from the director's final will and testament:

"This is my wish and no discussion or emotional tumult must come as a result."

Despite the clarity of Bergman's assertion on this matter, doubts have been raised pertaining to the potential loss of a vital part of Sweden's cultural heritage.

In an interview with the Sydsvenskan newspaper Bergman's biographer, Mikael Timm, stated that the auction represents 'a failure for Swedish cultural politics' and argued that the state should have made arrangements with Bergman's family to keep the precious collection on Swedish shores.

In response, a representative for the Swedish government's department of culture made it clear that an estimated 20 million kronor ($2.84 million) had already been laid out in establishing the Bergman film festival and purchasing rights to the late director's films.

Amongst the eclectic and highly coveted collection of objects set to fall under the auctioneer's gavel in late September are the chess pieces thought to be those featured in Death's game with Max Von Sydow in 'The Seventh Seal', a bedside table inscribed with Bergman's enigmatic personal notes, a 19th Century puppet theatre, and Irving Penn's personally dedicated portrait of the late director.

Opening bids range from a humble 300 kronor for a 'Fia' board game, to 400,000 kronor for Edward Munch's famous lithography of August Strindberg.

"There has also been a lot of interest in the Laterna Magica, film awards, the writing desk on which Bergman wrote many of his screenplays, his Mercedes car and grandfather clocks -- probably because of the fact that ticking sounds were present in a lot of his work," said Charlotte Bergström.

The collection is available for viewing from September 24-27 at Bukowski's in Stockholm before the collection goes under the hammer on September 28th.


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