Learn about Bookcases
The glass-fronted bookcase entered the English cabinetmakers' repertoire about the mid-17th century, and the bookcase in one form or another has been an indispensable part of the civilized person's home ever since.The 17th century bookcase tended to be a glazed cabinet from plinth to pediment, with square glass panes. The later Stuart period saw the introduction of the bureau bookcase or the secretaire bookcase, where the bookshelves were double-heightened above a desk or cupboard base. Early bureau bookcases often had mirror or blind-panelled door fronts, although these have frequently been replaced with clear glass panes. During the Regency period, the fashion arose for small cabinet bookcases, rarely more than three feet in height, which left the walls clear for hanging prints and pictures, known in the trade as a 'dwarf bookcase'. Such bookcases were sometimes open at the front, others had elegant brass-grille doors, backed by pleated silk. A bookcase without doors is known in the trade as an 'open bookcase'. The revolving bookcase was invented during the 18th century. 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...
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