When you take the time to focus on the antique furniture of a specific part of the world, much of the culture and history of that region comes out in the designs and styles you see in that furniture. Owning antique furniture is about more than just having beautiful things to keep in your home. When you buy an antique, you are immersing yourself in the culture, the time frame and the “story” of each piece you buy. So when it comes to German antique furniture, that history and legacy that is part of the past of each beautiful piece is fascinating indeed.
Because Germany has had such a long and complicated history, German antique furniture varies in style and design tremendously depending on the period in which it was made and which of the many independent city states of Germany was the origin of the piece. There are some generalizations we can make about German antique furniture. Generally, it is made to be extremely sturdy because the woods that come from the German forests is high quality and durable. The ability of German antique furniture to stand the test of time can be attested to by the how much of it is still available and in very good working condition even today.
The styles of German antique furniture from each era of Germany’s long history are simultaneously in step with the styles of that era and yet entirely German furniture design ideas. From the Renaissance Period to the Baroque Period to the Rococo Period to the Biedermeier Period, you can identify influences from the culture of each era mixing beautifully that that unique German antique furniture style.
The unique geography of Germany played a role in the distinctive style you find in German antique furniture. German furniture makers were less influenced by international trends simply because The Alps made travel to other countries hard to do. Nonetheless, there is some influence of French and Italian antiques in German antique furniture that you find. In addition, the expansive German forests yielded beautiful and durable woods that were unique to Germany. That gives German antique furniture a unique feel that makes them fascinating and valuable at the same time.
That distinctive style can be seen in all types of German antique furniture. When looking at an antique German storage chest, the simple rectangle shape will stand out. Antique German tables almost universally use an X-shape in the supports along with legs that are part of the middle of the table. German antique chairs are made with backs that are curved. But one unit that is quite unique to German antique furniture is the Schrank. This big wardrobe or cupboard is made with two big doors and two useful drawers at the bottom. The Schrank offers a variety of drawers and shelves inside as well as smaller areas to store towels. In many German homes, the Schrank served as a pantry as well.
Because the history of Germany is so diverse, the influence of each region of the country is strong. German antique furniture from before 1871 when Germany because a country will carry a distinctive style that reflects the province of Germany that originated the piece. In fact, most pieces from that era of German history will bear the seal of the city where the German antique furniture was made. These fascinating little “touches” add a lot of personality to any German antique furniture that you use to decorate your home.