A long couch dating from the late 17th century, similar to a sofa with arms at either end. Unlike the upholstered sofa, however, the settee usually has a shaped wooden splat back, similar to dining chairs. In Australia, any small couch is sometimes known as a settee.
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...Beidermeier is neither named after a region, a designer or maker, but is a word coined in Germany in the mid 1800's (after the peak manufacturing period of this furniture had passed) to satirise the tastes of the times. It was drawn from a fictional character, Weiland Gottlieb Biedermaier, whose humdrum exploits featured in an 1850s Munich satirical magazine. Bieder' is a German word meaning upright or conventional, while 'Meier' is a common German surname and so in the 1850s the term 'Biedermeier' came to symbolise the middle class, decent, reliable and with lots of common sense.
After the mid-1800s the style declined in popularity, but it underwent a revival in the early 20th century, and again in the 1980s and 1990s.
A 19th century Biedermeier flame mahogany settee, with mildly concave back rail, carved swan head scroll arm terminals supporting the show timber curved arms, wide plain bottom rail, supported on lion's paw feet and legs, restrained leaf carved detail, the
Biedermeier settee, with wooden frame, the seat, back and sides upholstered in green and ivory striped fabric with green embroided trimming, set on four legs with two extra supports (A/F). Height 93 cm. Width 190 cm. Depth 66 cm
An Austrian Biedermeier cherry and upholstered settee, circa 1830, the curved back with exposed cherrywood cross-banding above a padded back and out curved arms with ebonised spreading supports above an over-stuffed seat with additional cushion (not shown)
An early 19th century Biedermeier cherry wood veneered sofa, of architectural form with a central triangular pediment above a shaped back flanked by a pair of urns above a padded back and seat, curved arms raised on doric pilasters and raised on block feet
An Austrian Biedermeier walnut and upholstered sofa, the curved top rail with a central inlaid figure of a winged putto painting, down swept arms, over an over sprung seat, plain rail and raised on square legs. Width 134 cm .
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