Spruce: Picea abies, Picea exelsior
Fir: Abies alba, Abies picea, Pinus abies
The woods of spruce and fir are difficult to distinguish by their grain. The wood of the spruce is slightly darker than that of the fir. The spruce itself is also called "Norway spruce", which is why the wood is generally also called "spruce / fir".
The main difference between the woods is that spruce is a resinous wood, whereas fir is not.
The spruce wood, which tends to reddish-white, turns yellowish-brown over time due to the influence of air and light.
Spruce and fir wood can be found in antiques of all epochs. The wood was cheap, easy to obtain and easy to work. It was used as solid wood for rural and simple furniture. For fine veneered furniture, the softwood served as a support for the applied veneer.
Parts of antique furniture that were not visible from the outside, such as back panels, structural timbers, shelves or the sides and back of drawers, were often made of softwood.
The wood of spruce and fir was also in demand as the basic wood for framed furniture. The setting was not limited to ornamental or figurative painting, but in many cases a setting imitating precious wood was applied to the cheap softwood. This means that a painting was applied to the wood which, for example, represented walnut in colour and structure.
Even today, spruce and fir wood is very popular and suitable for all kinds of interior woodwork. The wood is very light and dries well and quickly. It is also easy to work with, and is good for slicing, peeling, carving and turning.
As the wood is quite cheap, it is also made into plywood and other panel materials.
In the 1980s and 1990s, softwoods were very popular, entire interiors were made of spruce and fir wood.
The spruce wood used in the period of origin of our antique furniture comes from Central Europe.