Why we love the swedish biedermeier style from the 1800s – Part 1
As usual fashions change month to month as someone somewhere tries to influence people’s taste and perceptions.
1980s is back again sadly – once was surely enough 🙂
What bothers me about every new fad is the disposability factor – its just fashion and everything gets swapped in or out like clothes.
It is a shame really because the it means that the actual quality of the pieces is neither appreciated or important to people – they just want to show off the ‘in vogue’ pieces. It is a shallow world we live in.
Biedermeier furniture is so beautifully built and constructed compared to modern made in china stuff (that is often rebadged in other countries to hide it’s original location of production).
Whether you prefer the original biedermeier period (1820-18500 or the later 2nd biedermeier period ( from about 1880), the construction of the sofas, tables, chairs and cabinets is exceptional. Hand done by master craftsman and you can see the love.
One of the reasons this old furniture is so great is the choice of wood. Unlike modern forestry, where trees are force fast grown and cut early and kiln dried, these old biedermeier pieces feature properly slow grown, cut and most important properly dried over time. This results in more stable wood that doesn’t move which is very important when you are going to add a show wood veneer glued on top of the base wood.
Thew quality of the show wood is an issue too – with the advent of CITES protection and other factors, it is really really difficult to find really top quality veneer woods that can compete with the veneers used on the originals – not just the obvious rosewoods but any heavily figured or quilted show wood. The figuring needs to time to grow and so the modern quick cut forests don’t get a chance to stress and fight natural diseases and circumstances that causes the quilting and figure. Just ask Paul reed smith of PRS guitars if you want a lengthy discussion of the causes of wood figuring