Biedermeier Hutch

EMILY: I made the mistake of telling Peg all my favourite special spots, and that woman moved in and completely wiped them out. You can’t find a decent Biedermeier hutch in all of Connecticut.

Beidermeier was a style of central European furniture design which lasted from 1815 to 1848. It had an emphasis on utilitarian clean lines and lack of ornamentation, and was influenced by the Georgian style from Britain. Beidermeier furniture is typically made from locally sourced wood, such as oak, ash, or cherry, rather than exotic imports.

Vienna was the centre of Beidermeier design, but it was popular among the middle classes in German-speaking countries and Scandinavia. Sometimes American furniture made by German immigrants in the Beidermeier style is also sold as “Beidermeier” – often cheaper than furniture imported from Austria or Germany.

Hutch is an American term for a type of furniture. Usually it describes shelving or cabinets on top of a lower unit that has a counter top, and either drawers or cabinets. A typical example would be the sort of sideboard cabinets used to display china or glassware.

A large European-made Beidermeier hutch might cost more than $1000 today, although a smaller piece could be around $500.

Queen Anne

Lane looks for an opportunity to find her mother in a good mood, and approaches her after she made a sale of a reputed Queen Anne chair to a customer.

Anne (1665-1714) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1702, and Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1707 until her death.

The term Queen Anne when applied to furniture usually describes styles from the mid 1720s to the mid 1760s, even though this is after the reign of Queen Anne. Queen Anne furniture is characterised as being smaller, lighter and more comfortable than its predecessors, and Queen Anne chairs have elegant curved legs and cushioned seats.

Naturally the chair shown in the episode looks nothing like a Queen Anne. The customer even begins by questioning its authenticity and saying that it looks wrong, suggesting that the Kims are selling their antiques under very loose labels. When the customer asks for evidence that the chair is Queen Anne, Mrs. Kim says she will write a letter to that effect, which isn’t any proof of provenance at all.

Georgian desk

RICHARD: Take a look at that desk in my office. It’s a really fine Georgian piece.

The Georgian era was a period in British history lasting from 1714 to 1830, named so because all the kings on the British throne were named George during these years – from George I to George IV. However, when people say Georgian in regard to antiques, they often mean it’s from 1714-1800, the regencies of the first three Georges, with 1800-1830 identified as late Georgian.

Georgian furniture tends to be solid and practical, made from quality wood, and with a fine attention to detail. A genuine Georgian desk of the sort Richard has in his office might be worth more than ten thousand dollars. (Of course it’s just part of the set, and not really Georgian at all – it doesn’t even look Georgian).