An important and rare Biedermeier mahogany chest of drawers
On the upper top, there is an attractive polished slate top inlaid with a Siena marble Greek key border, below a large rounded drawer that seems to be part of the upper top.
The nice wavy sides contrast with the flat central part of three large mahogany veneered drawers with beautiful chiselled and gilded hole covers.
At the base, two large eagles in gilded bronze on a plinth base. All about spherical feet. The quality of this Biedermeier chest of drawers is also evident from gilded bronze eagles and the rear feet bronze which rest on the plinth base, usually made of carved gilded wood.
The Biedermeier period refers to an era in Central Europe between 1815 and 1848, during which the middle class grew in number and arts appealed to common sensibilities. It began with the time of the Congress of Vienna at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and ended with the onset of the European Revolutions of 1848. Although the term itself is a historical reference, it is used mostly to denote the artistic styles that flourished in the fields of literature, music, the visual arts and interior design.
The Biedermeier period does not refer to the era as a whole, but to a particular mood and set of trends that grew out of the unique underpinnings of the time in Central Europe. There were two driving forces for the development of the period. One was the growing urbanization and industrialization leading to a new urban middle class, which created a new kind of audience for the arts. The other was the political stability prevalent under Klemens Wenzel von Metternich following the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The effect was for artists and society in general to concentrate on the domestic and (at least in public) the non-political. Writers, painters, and musicians began to stay in safer territory, and the emphasis on home life for the growing middle-class meant a blossoming of furniture design and interior decorating.
The continental blockade imposed by Napoleon in 1806 to damage imports from England, limited the use of mahogany in all Europe. This condition forced to use light wood such as satinwood, cherry, ash, oak lemon, birch and more.
Despite the forced preference for light woods, however, Biedermeier furnishings continued to be made of mahogany for the finest furniture until the mid-nineteenth century. During 1815–1830 Biedermeier furniture were most neoclassical in inspiration, most fantastic and extravagant forms were made during the second half of the period (1830–1848).