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  • Place of origin:

    Austria (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fruitwood (probably walnut) with ebonised and gilt decoration. Sprung and upholstered.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Sofa, walnut with ebonised and gilt decoration. Legs formed as ebonised squared pillars with gilt head decoration at front and plain doric pilasters terminating in gilt balls at back, with open base. High curved back with solid arms, the arms forming a continuous curve with back. Front of seat longer than back. Upper parts of back and arms veneered, the back and arms padded, the seat sprung, and upholstered with blue-greenish and cream upholstery above earlier (probably not original) floral upholstery. The latter is visible at the front of the seat back.

Place of Origin

Austria (probably, made)


ca. 1820 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Fruitwood (probably walnut) with ebonised and gilt decoration. Sprung and upholstered.


Height: 108 cm, Length: 178 cm, Width: 56 cm

Descriptive line

Biedermeier, Austrian, fruitwood with ebonised and gilt decoration, c.1820.

Production Note

The sofa was probably made in Austria or, possibly, southern Germany. The wood - most likely walnut, was indigenous in many areas in Austria and it was one of the favourite woods in furniture production, especially for pieces of medium quality. The classical pilasters with gilt decoration give some elegance to the piece; however, there is a possiblity that it could have been made in middle to southern Germany where classical elements on Biedermeier furniture survived long. Especially Mainz in Germany was noted for ebonised columns and other ebonised elements on furniture.

Attribution note: The veneers of the back are taken from one trunk to form a continuous decorative pattern, a principle characteristic of Biedermeier furniture. The sofa's design, especially the very solid back and the side arms which rest on rather too small pilasters with gilt heads at the front, is a little akward; and the veneers are of middling quality. The seat is sprung and the back stuffed, probably the original arrangement.




Joining; Springing; Upholstering; Ebonising


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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