The Empire style sofa (French pronunciation) is the centerpiece of the living room in Baan BareFeet Naturist Resort. It is built in mahogany with lemon tree inserted decoration. Notice the characteristic four cupboards left and right. The sofa is estimated to be from 1840. Gregers’ parents bought the sofa in 1976 from a lawyer P.G. Winther in Birkerod, Denmark. He had inherited it from a sister to his father. Price: 1500 DKK. Already the original sofa had blue horse hair cover and upholstery. In 1976, Gregers’ parents had it renovated with a few wood repairs and a new upholstery and cover – again blue horse hair – for 5000 DKK.
From 1976 and onward, the Empire sofa was a central piece of furniture in all the homes that Gregers’ parents established as they moved about Denmark during his career as an officer in the Royal Danish Army. His final position was Head Master of the Military Academy of the Royal Danish Army with an apartment for the Colonel in the Frederiksberg Castle in Copenhagen.
He died in 2002, and Gregers and his sisters Dorthe and Benedikte helped their mother move into a smaller home for the elderly. When done, Gregers and his sisters split the furniture that was in excess. Among others this sofa. Shortly after, he moved the sofa together with several other pieces of furniture to his home at that time in Nep Park 99/95 in Soi Maiyalap, Lad Prao district, Bangkok.
In 2014, Baan BareFeet Naturist Resort was built and it was ready for moving furniture in around December 2014. One of the first pieces of furniture that Disraporn ‘Dao’ and Gregers installed was this Empire sofa with its beautiful wood work. Valued in 2002 by Auction-house Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen at 6,000 DKK – but we would never sell it for that.
Picture of black and white silhouettes with medal to the left in the photo was mostly placed near the Empire sofa in the homes, Gregers’ parents established. So it was a natural choice to hang it near the sofa again in Baan BareFeet Naturist Resort. The man with the tall hat is Christen Nielsen Møller, legal staff at the regional court i Viborg in Denmark. He was Gregers’ fathers’ grand grand father. The woman is his wife Maren Sørensdatter Lerche. The boy is their son Metheodor Møller. The medal is belongs to Metheodor Møller’s for his participation in the Danish war 1848-1851 and he decided to hang it on the picture of his father where it has stayed ever since. Metheodor Møller was a merchant in Mindegade in Aarhus, Denmark. He married Louise Caroline Preuss. This picture has been inherited for generations, always from the eldest son to the eldest son.
Kerosene lamp on the top of the cupboard to the left was inherited by Gregers’ mother from the home of her uncle Otto Jeremias Wøldike Gade and his wife ‘Mis’ born Anne Marie Nielsen. The couple lived in Farum Denmark where they died in the same night shortly before New Year in 1963. On New Years Eve in 1963, a rocket ignited the straw thatched two story house which was badly damaged by the fire. Neighbors carried much of the antique furniture of the house out on the lawn before the firemen came. Several other pieces of furniture in Baan BareFeet Naturist resort is from this home. Evaluated in 2002 to be worth only 600 DKK!
Painting with roses on a cross had its traditional place in Gregers’ childhood home over the empire sofa where it now hangs again in Thailand. It was inherited by Gregers father when his aunt Ellen Krebs died. The picture is most likely from the home of the parents of her husband Nic Krebs, called “Fabriksgaarden”. The painter is unknown. There is a German text written on the painting that seems to have been erased later. In 2002 it was evaluated at 15,000 DKK.
Table in front of the sofa with lion feet is from Mis and Otto’s home in Farum. See above regarding the kerosene lamp. Evaluated in 2002 to be worth 5,000 DKK
Head of Buddha on top of the right hand cup board was bought by Disraporn ‘Dao’ in 2013 when she started selling and buying things on eBay. But she didnot want to sell it anyway and now it fits so well in with the antique sofa group.
Long haired carpet in front under the lion feet table is of sentimental value only. Gregers’ parents tied all the knots themselves and Gregers and his sisters occasionally gave a hand as well. This was in the winter 1963 – 1964, the last year that family was stationed in Rendsburg, Nordschleswig, Germany.
Oak chest with twisted legs: Length 172 cm, tall 57 cm – incl legs 92 cm tall. This was originally an old wedding chest in which a young unmarried woman would collect her belongings for her hopeful future marriage, like bed sheet, table cloths etc. On the front piece, there is an inscription reading J. Ahlheit Hencken, indication German or Dutch origin. Furthermore there are 4 portal ornaments cut out in a non-distinct style. It may be late renaisance or it may be early baroque.
The front has a huge old lock. The front is hinged at the bottom so when unlocked it can open up to the front and the front can hang i two chains. It may also be unlocked and then the lid may open up.
Gregers’ parents Nils Erik and Kirsten bought this piece of furniture in 1946 as their first common possession after their marriage which attracted some comments from Kirsten’s father who thought it was a strange priority. The four twisted legs which the chest rests on, is added by antique dealer Christian Rasmussen in Randers, Denmark, where they found it and is not in the original style of the chest.
Valuation in 2002 was only at 4,000 DKK because of the hard restoration.
Working desk in mahogany with inlaid writing pad in black leather. Three drawers under the working space and two side cupboard with wooden drawers in each. Key holes plates are in silver. This is yet another piece of furniture that originates from Gregers’ mother’s uncle Otto Jeremias Wøldike Gade and his wife ‘Mis’ born Anne Marie Nielsen. The couple lived in Farum Denmark where they died in the same night shortly before New Year in 1963 as described above under “Kerosene lamp”.
Gregers’ parents had the working desk repaired in 1976 by carpenter G. Svendsen, Birkerød, for 3,442 DKK. Auction evaluation in 2002 only 4,000 DKK.
The leather chair is from a dining table set in oak which was inherited by Gregers father when his aunt Ellen Krebs died. Except for this single chair, the dining table set is today used by Dao’s nephew and his wife, who lives on Gregers and Dao’s previous house. It was a memorable piece of furniture in Uncle Nic and Ellen’s home i Søllerød, Denmark. Uncle Nic had bought the set at an auction for an undisclosed amount. Later, in the 1990s, Gregers father Nils Erik changed himself the leather seats and backs on the chairs while he was taken winter classes in furniture upholstering. Therefore the leather still looks new. The whole table set with chairs was evaluated in 2002 to be worth 5,000 DKK
The two blue chairs come from the home of Gregers’ grand parents on his mothers side. They belong to the sofa set described below.
The blue sofa set stood in the living room of Greger’s grand parents on his mothers side in Aalborg, Denmark. They moved the set with them in the early 1950’s from Brønderslev further north in Jutland, Denmark, where they owned of a clothes shop for men and where Gregers’ mother grew up. Gregers remembers the sofa set from his holidays with his grand parents in the home in Aalborg. But it was locked up in the ‘nice’ living room where they only were allowed in when prominent guests were visiting. Other days, life was lived in the ‘daily’ living room.
When the grand parents in the late 1960’s moved to a small apartment for the elderly in Fredericia, it was among the chosen few pieces of furniture that could follow them. When Gregers inherited the set, the upholstery was worn out. The ‘green sofa’ first became part of Gregers’ home when he in 1984 moved into an apartment in Valby, Copenhagen. Changing the upholstery was expensive, so it was mostly covered up with a blanket but figures in many photos from the children’s early years in Denmark.
The sofa came to Thailand with other inherited furniture in around 2002 and Gregers and his daughter Monica, who lived alone at the time, spent the money on giving it the current blue upholstery. It has since been a main piece in the home Gregers and Disraporn set up together. At Baan BareFeet Naturist Resort it is set up in their private living room. The round glass plate on the mahogany table is a practical improvement for easy cleaning. The carpet is a brand new Ikea purchase.
Two white elephants in front are a gift from Thai Senator Dr. Pensak Chagsuchinda Howitz, widow after Danish Ambassador Franz Howitz and governor of the Raindrop Foundation in Sakon Nakhon in the North East of Thailand. Dr. Pensak gave the gift to Gregers after his visit to the Raindrop Center in 1991.
This sofa in mahogany wood is made around 1850 by Gregers’ 2nd great grand father on his mothers side. His name was Johan Jakob Møller and he lived in Skælskør, Denmark. I was his master piece at the end of his apprentice time. There are no metal screws in the entire furniture – all joints are wood-to-wood. Gregers parents had it upholstered with horse hair cover. Valued at 8,000 DKK by the auction house Bruun Rasmussen.
The copper pot to the left was originally a sterilizer for boiling surgical instruments at Præstø Amts Sygehus (County Hospital of Præstø) in Næstved, Denmark, where Gregers’ father grew up. His father – Gregers’ grand father – was the administrative head of the regional hospital. The old copper pot was an antique already at that time, dating back to 1817, the year the hospital was built. Auction evaluation at 2,000 DKK.
The big console mirror to the right is one of two mirrors in this size, both from the home of Gregers’ mother’s uncle Otto Jeremias Wøldike Gade and his wife ‘Mis’ born Anne Marie Nielsen. The couple lived in Farum Denmark where they died in the same night shortly before New Year in 1963 as described above under “Kerosene lamp”.
The collage above is a work by Annika Jagota, Gregers’ daughter’s eldest daughter when she was 5 years old.
This bureau is not among the furniture inherited from Gregers’ parents’ home. It came into his possession directly from the home of his Grandmother Kamilla Kristine Larsen, after she died in Fredericia, Denmark in 1985. It is made by a carpenter in Brønderslev, Denmark, where Kamilla and Edward Georg Wøldike Gade spent their working life.
To the right is the infantry officer’s sable of Gregers’ father. See above.
On top of the bureau is an old House Bibel probably from 1892. On the totle page it says – in Danish – “This House Bible belongs to: Carl Møller and has been inherited by: 1. H.C.T. Møller and 2. Nils Erik Alling Møller. There is also a letter from Gregers’ sisters saying that after due consideration, they want this to be inherited by the eldest son, in this case Gregers.
Next to the House Bible there is a multiple faced modern ceramic sculpture created by Gregers’ sister Dorthe Elisabeth Wøldike Møller in 2012.