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Antique corner cupboard
Secretary birch Galerie Balbach


Botanical name: Betula

Birch wood was particularly popular in the Biedermeier period. In northern Germany, birch wood was used as veneer from 1800 onwards, and in Scandinavia it was also used as solid wood. Birch has a fine-pored, light to yellowish wood. Straight-grained wood was particularly suitable for imitating other woods when stained in the appropriate colour.

Antique furniture made of birch

During the Biedermeier period, decorative elements were largely dispensed with and furniture fronts were designed solely through the choice of wood.

Birch wood from irregularly grown trunks was particularly popular because it has a very special grain: The wavy annual rings in the wood create a so-called "flamed" look. This can make it appear as if the wood has different light reflections when viewed from different directions.

Bark that has grown into the trunk, on the other hand, creates a completely different, reddish-brown appearance known as "ice birch".

The Karelian burl birch has a special grain with semicircular, sickle-shaped inclusions. Originating from Finland and northern Russia, we find it mainly on antique furniture from the St. Petersburg area.

Birch is a light wood with high elasticity

Birch wood grows throughout Europe and large parts of Asia. It is still used in furniture making today. Due to its high elasticity and low weight, however, it is also used for heavily stressed plywood.

The birch wood used in the period of origin of our antique furniture came from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.

The square picture shows plain birch wood on the left and the "ice birch" on the right

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