Just behind the early 18th century facade of one corner of Place Vendôme, at no. 7, things have changed. The buildings were refashioned around 1930-31. The premises were prepared for the opening of a bank office, “Banque de Suède et de Paris”, created by a Swede, Ivar Krueger, born in 1880. The opening of the new bank office was planned for March 13, 1932, but the day before, Ivar Krueger died, most probably by suicide. Through the large windows, we can see some decorated walls...
Krueger's death was considered as an enormous event – see the front page of The New York Times the following day. He was then considered as maybe the third-richest man in the world. Here we can see him travelling around and on his yacht in the Stockholm archipelago together with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and others.
Starting in the building industry, Krueger had made his fortune by building up a world quasi- monopoly in safety match manufacturing, the still existing Swedish Match Company. He was involved in a lot of other businesses, including phone (Ericsson), ball bearings (SKF), mining, paper making…, but he got perhaps especially known for having been one of the world’s greatest swindlers. He used the same method as some other previous and later swindlers, paying dividends out of capital rather than earnings.
Krueger’s meeting with some creditors and experts the following day was cancelled, as was the official opening of the bank office.
The decoration of the bank office included some wall intarsia and paintings by the Swedish artist Ewald Dahlskog (1894-1950).
These decorations were forgotten until recently, but have now been renovated and the new occupants of the premises, the catering company Potel & Chabot, are now presenting Dahlskog’s works in their original splendour. A real presentation will be made in a couple of weeks by a representative of the “Association Artistique Suédoise à Paris”. Here are in the meantime some photos … and we can see how Ewald Dahlskog has illustrated Krueger’s worldwide interests. The intarsia concentrates on Sweden…and France.