Svenskt Tenn's founder Estrid Ericson designed numerous interior details and jewellery during her working years, but she only ever created one print.
It was during one of her many travels that she got the idea for the motif with the small elephants, which has come to be seen as a symbol for the company Svenskt Tenn.
Estrid Ericson loved elephants, and the exotic animal is seen in several of her early creations, such as pewter boxes and figurines. So, when she found a piece of African, elephant patterned fabric on a flea market in Paris, she was naturally inspired to create her own version.
The Elefant (Elephant) pattern was printed for the first time in the 1930s and became one of Svenskt Tenn's most significant and beloved motifs. The expression is timeless, and fits just as beautifully in contemporary interiors as it did in the functionalistic area of the 1930s, something that is shown below in the image from the store at Strandvägen 5, Stockholm, 1935.
It was important for Estrid Ericson that all of Svenskt Tenn's customers could visit the store on Strandvägen 5 and buy something to take home with them, even if they couldn’t afford expensive furniture or pewter objects. She therefore started selling trays and paper napkins with different prints – a tradition that Svenskt Tenn has kept throughout the years.
Today, the small elephants march over textiles, wallpaper, cushions, trays, lampshades, bags and tableware across the range. They also adorn a children’s porcelain set, created by Swedish designer Ingegerd Råman. Her version is a playful interpretation of the print, and if you look closely, you can see that one of the elephants is marching the opposite direction.