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Holger Eriksson cast his first miniature figure in
1934, an event that became the start of a unique artistic career.
was produced entirely by him, from sketch to modelling, mould, casting and
cleaning to painting.
Holger Eriksson was born in 1899, in the village of
Bolhyttan, Sweden. The family moved to
the town of Filipstad in 1901, were he later went to school.
At the age of fifteen he was employed as an
errand-boy at a drawing office and advanced to draughtsman. In 1929 he moved to
Karlstad, to become a designer and drawing office manager.
had had an interest in military tin figures ever since he was a young boy. But it
wasn’t playing with tin-soldiers that fascinated him, it was rather the small
sized sculpturing. Already in his childhood and youth he drew horses, in motion
or resting, with or without riders. The riders were mostly soldiers and they
naturally had as correct a uniform as possible. An interest in uniforms, and later
regimental history, was awakened. National service in the garrison town of
Boden, where most of the army’s arms were represented, gave rich opportunities
for detailed studies.
1925, Holger Eriksson started to sculpt in wood. He carved horses, cowboys and indians, camel
riders, knights, foot soldiers and a field gun, all in 54 mm. Later, the idea
of casting figures matured and he cast the first figure with the initials HE on
the base, as already mentioned, in 1934.
Charles XII, Gustavus Adolphus, Oscar II, Napoleon, mounted vikings and
cavalrymen from different periods are part of his production 1935-38. In 1936,
Holger Eriksson participated in a miniature figure exhibition in London with a
“Scots Greys, 1815” and was awarded second prize. During the following years he
had a lively exchange with British collectors, which is why a large part of his
early production is in Britain.
1944 saw a
breakthrough for Holger Eriksson’s figures.
Among others, he made a group of nine WWII German stormtroopers. A
Swedish collector with contacts in the USA sent the group there. The artistic
quality of the figures attracted great attention, which led to international
commissions. Between the years 1944 and 1956 he made hundreds of originals for
an Irish-American factory in Ireland and a Swedish one in Cape Town. Both
factories are long gone.
Holger Eriksson kept his originals himself and only made castings for
interested collectors and museums.
Master laid his tools to rest on the 1st of October, 1988, at the age of 88.
will continue, according to Holger
Eriksson’s wish, and as long as masters and moulds are serviceable, to deliverHE military