Learn about Wardrobe
A wardrobe is a cupboard with space for hanging clothes. As an item of furniture as opposed to a separate closet, the wardrobe did not generally appear until the early 19th century. Until then, clothes had been stored in clothes presses.
Wardrobes may have between one and four doors, and sometimes have fitted drawers in the centre section and hanging space on either wing. The doors are often panelled, with a decorative figured timber panel surrounded by a moulded frame. The clothes hangers hung on rails or hooks, usually facing the front. Antique wardrobes are often too shallow to fit standard size wire hangers comfortably side on.
A Beaconsfield wardrobe is the term used to describe an Edwardian period wardrobe that has an open storage area in the centre top section, usually backed by a mirror, with externally visible drawers below.
Wardrobes have been made in most of the usual furniture timbers: oak, pine, cedar, mahogany, walnut and satinwood and the styles range from the plain and simple to the elaborate and ostentatious. Many were made as part of a bedroom suite together with matching dressing table and washstand. more...
Learn about Biedermeier
Beidermeier is the name given to a style of blond-wood furniture and to decorative arts popular in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia between the early and mid 19th century. Popular at the same time as the French Empire style, the Beidermeier design was based on utilitarian principles, and has been described as French Empire style without the flamboyance.
Beidermeier furniture typically has straight or gently curved lines without elaborate carvings and often used classical motifs such as columns, gables, egg and dart and bead and reel. Ornamentations in brass and sometimes inlay were added to enhance the straight lines. Columns or bases, and keyhole escutcheons were sometimes ebonised to contrast with the light-coloured timbers used in construction. Burr veneers were also popular because of their variations in colour and attractive markings.
Biedermeier furniture used timbers that were locally available in Germany and Scandinavia such as walnut, cherry, birch, ash and oak, rather than the more expensive imported timbers such as mahogany. Whilst this timber was available, the taxes applied at import and between states made it too expensive for the Biedermeier market. more...