Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Biedermeier Furniture

The Biedermeier period lasted from the fall of Napoleon in 1815 until the Industrial Revolution of 1848. This style is neoclassical and formal but with clean geometric lines. Bright, light colored woods, such as fruitwoods and walnut were popular.

The bulk of this style furniture was produced primarily for the middle class in Germany and Austria and was popular also in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. As the middle class had gained wealth and education, their tastes became more similar to those previously of the aristocracy.

Revival periods of this style include 1860, late 19th century, and 1920s.

Image 1 is an example of an early 19th century Biedermeier walnut commode. Image courtesy of Jean Williams Antiques, Seattle, WA.

Image 2 is an example of a Biedermeier sofa, Swedish, first quarter 20th century. Image courtesy of Rupert Cavendish Antiques, London, UK.

DID YOU KNOW that the name Biedermeier was taken from the word "bieder", which in German means honest, simple, and "Meier", which is a common last name?