from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ludwigsburg Palace , study of the Württemberg Queen Charlotte Mathilde

The terms furniture and furnishings (from the Latin mobilis , 'movable') refer to furnishings primarily in interiors such as apartments , shops, offices or other usage units, as well as in outdoor areas (e.g. garden furniture ). The term thus stands in contrast to immovable things ( real estate ) that are firmly connected or grown together with the ground or structures .


A facility is the entirety of the elements that, as functional or design components, help shape architectural or landscape spaces. The furnishing itself is not part of the structural structure (or nature or landscape), but part of the interior or exterior design.

According to the Brothers Grimm's dictionary , the “word […] is taken from the French [oesian] of the 17th century [underts], where it received the sense of household goods that is still valid today, which makes a room cozy or beautifies it ". It was used “as a buzzword, initially in the foreign spelling: meubles”. The term furniture is usually used in the plural, the term furniture in the singular. Both terms are generic terms for a group of furnishings. In addition to furniture, curtains, carpets, house plants, etc. are also part of the facility. In contrast to these elements, however, a piece of furniture is earmarked and primarily serves to store people, animals and objects and, in the broadest sense, to store or pick up objects, for people (or animals) to sit or lie down and as a basis for performing of activities. The division into certain furniture groups is not always clear and can be based on various criteria. Furniture are object-like elements that usually stand in the room as independent, stable bodies. B. differentiate from textile elements of interior design .

In contrast to art objects , the primary value of furniture is its practical value and not its aesthetics . In contrast to machines and tools , they are not used for production . Furniture is heavier and larger compared to other household items and objects that can be carried around easily, but can still be moved with muscle power. A borderline phenomenon is built-in furniture that can no longer be moved due to its fixed connection with the building structure.


Furniture became popular after the Neolithic Revolution . The first evidence of furniture comes from the time of the pharaohs and from finds from Akrotiri (Santorini) from around 1500 BC. A well-developed cabinet maker is known from ancient Egypt. Finds of tables, thrones and loungers from this period show knowledge of turning , veneering , inlaying and painting. Famous pieces come from the tomb of Tutankhamun from the 14th century BC. Ancient Greek houses were furnished with chairs, stools, tables, beds, chests, chests of drawers and couches. The ancient Greeks (from the 8th century BC) also knew the woodturning trade. They used simple mechanical lathes that could be operated with their feet. The most famous antique piece of furniture was used by the Romans : the " Kline ", a kind of bed on which people lay for banquets and normal meals. During the Roman Empire, the upper class owned furniture with silvering, gilding, tortoiseshell inlays and valuable veneers such as citrus.

The cupboard occupies a special position among furniture . Until the end of the Middle Ages , it was hardly widespread, except for storing clothes. Other belongings were z. B. stored on shelves or in chests. Only gradually did the cupboard find its way into other rooms in all social classes.


Secretary with walnut veneer polished. Inlays made of light and dark woods. Theresian , 1750.

Storage furniture

Storage furniture such as the chest or the cupboard are used to store sacred, state or personal items. The chest of drawers developed out of the chest at the end of the 17th century. The secretary is a piece of furniture which, in addition to storing letters and documents, also serves as writing furniture and often also has a representative character.

Germany Austria Switzerland
Closet (1825) .JPG
the closet the box the cupboard, the box
Cabinet dining room.jpg
the kitchen buffet the sideboard the buffet
the sideboard the sideboard ?


At a table people drink and eat, work, write, meet or talk. A table like the Guéridon serves as a side table primarily for decorative purposes. Special forms of the table are the desk and others.


Seating furniture: throne (top left), scissor stool (top right) and a scribe's seat (bottom) in a miniature from the 10th century, after a lost miniature made around 829/836 for Count Eberhard von Friuli .
Carved walnut sofa.
Rocailles and flourishes on the frame, the six curved legs and the armrests ending in volutes . Theresian, 1750-1760.

The stool , chair and bench are counted as seating furniture . There are also countless special shapes, such as armchairs , armchairs or sofas .

A seating group ( French: ameublement ) is an ensemble of related seating furniture (e.g. sofa with several armchairs and chairs).

Germany Austria Switzerland
Tabouret bois.JPG
the stool the stool,
the Schammerl
the stool,

's Schemeli

Stool in the cultural center WOB.jpg
the stool the stool the stool,
's Taburettli
Bar stool fcm.jpg
the bar stool the bar stool the bar stool
Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Chair - 1903.jpg
the chair the armchair
(rarely also a
chair if not
the chair
the chair
(with armrests)
the armchair
(with armrests)
the chair
Theselius armchair.jpg
the armchair the armchair the / the armchair
the office chair,
the swivel chair
the roller chair,
the swivel
chair , the office chair
the office chair
PromptonSP Chair.jpg
the folding chair the folding chair the folding chair

's folding bag

Yasuda hall chair.jpg
(weak padding)
the cinema chair the cinema seat,
the cinema seat
the (cinema) seat
(strong padding)
the cinema seat the cinema seat (Cinema) seat

Reclining furniture

Reclining furniture is used by humans (or animals) to sleep, to relax lying down or to lie down for other reasons. They usually consist of a horizontal or slightly inclined bed surface, which is usually padded. In addition to the bed , this group of furniture also includes loungers , chaise longues , futons, etc. In ancient Rome, for example, it was customary to eat lying down.


Today furniture is primarily manufactured industrially, be it in wood , metal , plastic or cardboard .

Traditionally, furniture is built as individual pieces by carpenters , cabinet makers and carvers .

Norms and standards for design and safety

  • EN 527 office furniture - office desks
  • EN 581 outdoor furniture - seating and tables for camping, living and contracting
  • EN 1730 Furniture - Tables - Test method to determine the stability, strength and durability
  • EN 13150 Work tables for laboratories - dimensions, safety requirements and test methods
  • BS 4875 Strength and stability of furniture. Domestic and contract storage furniture (British Standard)
  • EN 1335 office furniture - office work chair
  • EN 1728 Furniture - Seating furniture - Test method for determining strength and durability
  • ANSI / BIFMA X 5.1 Office Seating
  • EN 1335 office furniture - office work chair
  • DIN 4551 office furniture; Office chair with adjustable backrest, with or without armrests, height adjustable
  • NEN 1812 standard used in the Netherlands
  • RAL-GZ 430 - Quality assurance according to the general quality and test regulations of the German Furniture Quality Association (with reference to DIN, EN and ISO standards) for series production and their tolerances
  • GB 28007-2011 Children's furniture: Technical requirements for the design and manufacture of furniture for children between 3 and 14 years of age.

See also


  • Walter RC Abegglen, Sibylle E. Burckhardt: The Lucerne furniture. From the late Renaissance to the Biedermeier. Foreword by Dieter Pfister . Pro Libro, Lucerne 2011, ISBN 978-3-905927-14-6 .
  • Gitta Böth, Manfred Hartmann and others: Furniture: a typology for museums and collections. Munich 2005.
  • Fritz Bohnenblust: From the Lenzburg table makers and machinists Hämmerli. In: Lenzburger Neujahrsblätter 1962. pp. 30–45.
  • Thomas Boller, Werner Dubno: Zurich furniture. The 18th century. With contributions by Walter RC Abegglen and Jürg A. Meier. Zurich 2004.
  • Rudolf F. Burckhardt: The Basel buffet of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In: Historisches Museum Basel (ed.): Annual report 1914. pp. 35–65.
  • Gerhard Dietrich: writing furniture. From the Middle Ages to the Modern. Munich 1986.
  • Renate Dolz: Furniture Stylistics. Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-453-13046-4 .
  • Anne Droguet: Les styles Transition et Louis XVI. Les Editions de l'Amateur, 2005, ISBN 2-85917-406-0 .
  • Hermann von Fischer : The Funk family of craftsmen in the 18th century in Bern. (= Swiss homeland books ). Bern 1961.
  • Hermann von Fischer, Werner Bucher: Bernese furniture of classicism by Christoph Hopfengärtner and contemporaries. Valentin Sunshine. Exhibition catalog. Jegenstorf 1986, DNB 881101664 .
  • Hermann von Fischer: Johannes Äbersold (1737–1812). A Bernese leveler between Mathäus Funk and Christoph Hopfengärtner. Exhibition catalog. Jegenstorf Castle Foundation, Jegenstorf 2000, OCLC 314235196 .
  • Hermann von Fischer: FONCK A BERNE. Furniture and equipment from the Funk family of craftsmen in Bern in the 18th century. 2nd Edition. Bern 2002, ISBN 3-7272-9115-X
  • Gisela Haase : Dresden furniture of the 18th century. 3. Edition. Leipzig 1993.
  • Stefan Hess : The “Basel Council Table” by Johann Christian Frisch. (= Basel treasures. 28). Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-9523034-5-0 .
  • Heinz Hauser, Elisabeth Hauser: Carl Hossfeld - the leading Bernese cabinet maker of the late Biedermeier period. Schwarzenburg ( Online; PDF; 936 kB ).
  • Stefan Hess, Wolfgang Loescher : World class in Liestal. The art joinery Bieder . (= Sources and research on the history and regional studies of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Volume 98). Verlag des Kantons Basel-Landschaft, Liestal 2016, ISBN 978-3-85673-291-2 .
  • Stefan Hess, Wolfgang Loescher : Furniture in Basel. Masterpieces and masterpiece orders. Basel 2007.
  • Stefan Hess, Wolfgang Loescher: Furniture in Basel. Art and craft of the carpenters until 1798. Basel 2012, ISBN 978-3-85616-545-1 .
  • Hugh Honor, John Fleming: Dictionary of Antiques and Crafts. Munich 1980.
  • Guillaume Janneau: Ateliers parisiens de ébénistes et de menuisiers aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècle. Paris 1975.
  • Manuel Kehrli, Monika Bürger: Bernese writing furniture of the 18th century. (Catalog for the exhibition). Jegenstorf 2008.
  • Manuel Kehrli: Furniture and interior fittings of the Grande Société from 1766 to 1834. In: Georg von Erlach et al. (Ed.): Hôtel de Musique and Grande Société in Bern 1759–2009. Bern 2009, pp. 169–210.
  • Manuel Kehrli: late championship? The Bernese cabinet maker Mathäus Funk and his masterpiece . In: Art and Architecture in Switzerland, No. 1 (2017) pp. 54–60. doi : 10.5169 / seals-685789
  • Heinrich Kreisel , Georg Himmelheber : The art of German furniture. Furniture and paneling of the German-speaking area from the beginnings to Art Nouveau. CH Beck, Munich. Volume 1 .: From the beginnings to the high baroque. by Heinrich Kreisel, 3rd edition 1981. Volume 2: Late Baroque and Rococo by Heinrich Kreisel, 1970. Volume 3: Classicism, Historicism, Art Nouveau. by Georg Himmelträger, 2nd edition 1983.
  • Toni P. Labhart, Manuel Kehrli: Chimneys made of Bernese marble. Jegenstorf Castle Foundation, 2003.
  • Thomas Loertscher: Furniture from Zurich and Northeast Switzerland. From baroque to classicism. Catalog of the collection of the Swiss National Museum Zurich, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-907496-30-2 .
  • Thomas Loertscher: “Between funk and hop gardener?” Late Baroque after 1800. A Bernese small chest of drawers as “objet sentimental”. In: Journal for Swiss Archeology and Art History. Vol. 1999, pp. 303-320.
  • Wolfgang Loescher: Between the Fürstenhof and the guild society. The Basel cabinet maker, margravial master builder and court carpenter Johannes Tschudy (1672–1736). In: Historisches Museum Basel (ed.): Annual report 2007. pp. 13–25.
  • Wolfgang Loescher, Sabine Söll-Tauchert: A courtly piece of furniture in bourgeois Basel? The cabinet desk for the Obervogt von Münchenstein - a newly discovered early work by Johannes Tschudy. In: Historisches Museum Basel (ed.): Annual report 2009. pp. 45–61.
  • Wolfgang Loescher: The art cabinet from the Faesch Museum. Collecting and piety around 1620. (= Basel treasures. 33). Basel 2012.
  • Jean Nicolay: L'art et la manière des maitres ébénistes français au XVIII siècle. Paris 1976.
  • Charles A. Packer: Paris furniture by master Ebenistes. Newport 1956.
  • Dieter Pfister : Franz Pergo. On furniture art in north-west Switzerland around 1600. Basel 1984, ISBN 3-906430-51-0 .
  • Dieter Pfister, Sabine Häberli, Astrid Kübli: Basler Möbelkunst from 1450 to 1950. Basel 2002, ISBN 3-7965-1893-1 .
  • Peter Reindl: Basel Early Renaissance using the example of the town hall chancellery. In: Historisches Museum Basel (ed.): Annual report 1974. pp. 35–60.
  • Peter Ringger: Zurich wave furniture. Materials for furniture making in Zurich in the 18th century. In: Journal for Swiss Archeology and Art History. 46, 1989, pp. 130-151.
  • François de Salverte: Les Ebénistes du XVIIe siècle, leurs œuvres et leurs marques. Paris 1962.
  • Sabine Söll-Tauchert: The Erasmus chest: a piece of furniture as a monument. (= Basel treasures. 37). Basel 2016, ISBN 978-3-9524338-4-3 .
  • Walter Trachsler: The archive cabinet of the Zurich fireworkers. To the baroque furniture decoration of the spiral columns and jagged bosses. In: Journal for Swiss Archeology and Art History. 38, 1981, pp. 293-304.
  • Peter Weis, Gustav Bischoff: The carpenters of the upper Basel area in the 16th and 17th centuries. Liestal 1995, ISBN 3-85673-237-3 .
  • Claude-Paule Wiegandt: Transition. Louis XVI Le mobilier français collection. Massin, Paris 1995.

Web links

Wiktionary: Furniture  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Furniture  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Furniture  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German dictionary by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, Volume 12, Sp. 2433–2437, Section: MÖBEL, n. 2)
  2. History of the making of furniture. In:, 2008
  3. ^ New chinese standard for children's furniture takes effect