We specialise in 1800s and early 1900s Swedish antique Biedermeier chests of drawers chiffoniers and commodes. They have been gently restored with the original golden birch and walnut veneers with ormulu detailing and are in great condition. We can also handmake you a custom bespoke biedermeier chest of drawers commode from antique wood in our bespoke workshop to your choice of dimensions and finish if you cant find an antique one that does what you need.
Please call/email us for prices quoting the SKU number. All Bespoke handmade chests of drawers, commodes and chiffoniers will be quoted on an individual basis.
Antique Biedermeier Chest of Drawers and Chiffoniers
The Biedermeier period in Sweden began around 1820 under the reign of King Karl Johan (who was actually french). It was heavily influenced by the French Empire furniture style and moved away from the painted and gilt finishes of the Earlier Gustavian and Rococo eras.
Biedermeier styling is all about the show wood. Lovely rippling top quality woods with great internal figure like cherry wood , birds eye maple and most often in Sweden Golden Birch which was locally available and had beautiful flames and quilts to it which became really 3D when french polished up. There was also extensive use of ormulu finishes too to bring out the grandeur of the biedermeier style usually on the feet, posts, ornament decorations and decorative rings.
In terms of antique Swedish Biedermeier chests of drawers and chiffoniers, you generally find them with ultra high quality golden birch veneers and super figures laid over a birch or pine frame with ormulu posts or details to accentuate the wood figure. They will be polished in a wood mid oak to a light honey and very occasionally a darker tone veering towards mahogany and have a very shiny finish. The backboard and internal drawers will be unfinished wood as they were made to stand against the wall and it would have been a waste to veneer the backs.
The Biedermeier chests of drawers feature 3-5 full size drawers with ring pulls or cup handles and often a central escutcheon while the chiffoniers (which are really a hybrid of drawers and a writing desk) have 3-4 drawers in the lower section and a selection of small drawers behind the drop down writing desk lid. Unusually though you can find much taller Biedermeier drawers in the tallboy style that have 6-8 drawers and are a most impressive piece of furniture.
In terms of dimensions, these antique drawers tend to be between 80-11cm wide and about 45-49cm deep. The height depends on the number of drawers so it varies from about 80cm- 1.5m meters on some of the taller chiffoniers and tallboys.
What to look out for in a biedermeier chest of drawers -
Look for wood worm damage on the backboard and internal drawers
Have the drawer handles been changed or are they original
Has it been repolished or is the colour original
Is there any damage or sunbleaching to the ornamental wood veneers
Do the drawers run easily
What wood has been used for the veneer and is it lifting in any places.