Known as the Julbock (Yule Goat) in Sweden, this figure is a Christmas symbol in Scandinavian countries and one of the oldest traditions there. The Yule Goat is a bringer of gifts and good cheer. When the idea of Santa became popular, he was pictured riding a goat or with a goat pulling his sleigh, shown in the 19th century postcard by the Swedish artist Jenny Nystrom. The Swedish town of Gävle puts up an enormous Yule Goat made of straw in the town square to decorate for Christmas each year.
This goat was carved from local pine in the town of Kalmar in the province of Småland (first home of Ikea). Tied around its neck is a ribbon in blue and yellow, the colors of the Swedish flag, finished with a brass jingle bell. Attached to the ribbon is a printed paper tag in the same colors, which indicates the goat was sold at Svensk Slöjd (Swedish Handicraft), the Stockholm store that sold Swedish arts and crafts for many years. Further information on the tag: Svenska (Swedish) Hemslöjdsföreningarnas (Handicraft Compounds) Riksförbund (National Association). This association is non-profit and was founded over 100 years ago to promote Swedish hand made crafts. On the underside of the tag we find "Made in Sweden" and "Kalmar."
The goat stands almost 7 1/2 inches tall and is 6 inches long. Front to back it's 1 3/4 inches thick and weighs about 1 pound. The pine is sanded smooth and was left its natural color, unstained with a beautiful grain. In excellent condition, with virtually no wear, it's a handsome memento from Sweden.