Aachen-Liège furniture - Aachen-Lütticher Möbel

Showcase cabinet in the Aachen-Liège style ( Couven Museum , Aachen)

As furniture in the Aachen-Liège style (or Aachen-Liège Baroque ) are furniture referred back to the 18th century, in the area of Aachen - Liege were manufactured. A characteristic of this furniture is the wood-sight, which means that the wood is not covered by a veneer or a layer of paint and that the ornamentation is formed solely by wood carving and not by silver-plated or gold-plated metal fittings or the like.


The heyday of the Aachen-Liège furniture style was in the late baroque and rococo periods . Politically, Aachen was a free imperial city at that time , ecclesiastically the city belonged to the diocese of Liège . At that time, the Aachen-Liège area was strongly oriented towards France in the field of art. The styles were therefore mainly designated by their French names Régence and Louis-quinze , and transitions to the early classicist Louis-seize can still be seen in the Aachen-Liège furniture.

In the 17th century, furniture production in the Aachen-Liège area had no particular peculiarities. The model at the time was the Dutch cabinet maker. It was not until the beginning of the 18th century that a style of its own developed, first in Liège and then in Aachen, which can be recognized by furniture with Régence decorations.


Wardrobe of the Aachen variant, clearly recognizable the "Aachen nose" in the upper cornice ( Couven Museum , Aachen)

The Aachen-Liège furniture is usually made of oak. While elsewhere in furniture construction the fibers of the wood used were often cut and these interfaces were covered for decoration with veneer, paint or metal fittings, in the Aachen-Liège area it was important to protect the wood fiber and the natural grain of the wood without additional applications to highlight even as a decoration. In addition, the wood was stained, waxed and brushed.

Even if the Aachen-Liège furniture has many common stylistic features due to the contact and labor exchange between the two neighboring cities, there are also differences that can be used to tell whether a piece of furniture was made in Aachen or Liège.

  • Aachen display cabinets are usually made in one piece, while Liège furniture usually consists of a base cabinet and a slightly recessed display cabinet.
  • The carving of Liège furniture is more elaborate, but it appears to be partly “attached”, while it is simpler and more organic with Aachen furniture. In Aachen, floral motifs and tendrils of leaves and flowers are preferred as motifs, while in Liège the rocaille motif predominates. In Aachen furniture, the carving is usually recessed and framed by the carved surface that has remained.
  • Aachen cabinets have a miter in the curved cornice at a 90 ° angle, which is known as the "Aachen nose".
  • Furniture in Aachen often has a bean-shaped mirror in the crowning rocaille.

Types of furniture

Wardrobe of the Liège variant ( Couven Museum , Aachen)

The showpiece of Aachen-Liège furniture is the glass or display cabinet in which the porcelain of the house was displayed, which at that time was still an absolute luxury item. In its lower part it has wooden doors and in its upper part glazed doors. Often the corners of the upper part are beveled and also glazed, sometimes even the side walls are glazed. Carved wooden bars subdivide the glass panes of the doors. An area with drawers can also be built in between wooden doors and glass doors.

Wardrobes and linen cupboards are one-piece with two wooden doors that are decorated with carvings. The smaller linen cupboards mostly stand on high, curved legs, the taller wardrobes on short thick feet or flattened balls.

The chest of drawers is a mid-height piece of furniture that only has drawers. The fronts of the drawers in particular are decorated with carvings.

In the writing cabinet or secretary , a cavity is built in between a lower part, which is provided with doors or drawers, and a recessed upper part, which is closed by an inclined cover plate, which serves as a writing surface when opened.

Also, grandfather clocks were built as furniture in the Aachen-Liège style. The weights and a long pendulum, which swings with a small amplitude, are suspended in the long, narrow cabinet, which results in a high level of accuracy. Grandfather clocks were also combined with other types of furniture such as chests of drawers or writing cabinets to form so-called combination furniture.

Usually this furniture has a rectangular floor plan, but there are also triangular cupboards and grandfather clocks for placing in the corners of the room.


An important collection of furniture in the Aachen-Liège style, including above all of display cabinets, is located in the Couven Museum in Aachen. Other museums with Aachen-Liège furniture are the Musée d'Ansembourg and the Grand Curtius in Liège, the Royal Museums for Art and History in Brussels and the Museum aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht .


  • Felix Kuetgens: Guide to the municipal Couven Museum . 2nd Edition. Verlag des Museumsverein Aachen , Aachen 1932, p. 6–9.
  • Dagmar Preising and Ulrich Schäfer: Couven Museum in Aachen . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-422-02289-8 , pp. 46.
  • Paul Schoenen: Bourgeois living culture of the 18th century in Aachen and Monschau . Ed .: Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Heritage Protection. 30th year, no. 1 . Verlag L. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1937, p. 34–58.
  • Paul Schoenen: Aachen and Liège furniture of the 18th century . In: Research on German art history . tape 34 . German Association for Art History, Berlin 1942, ISBN 3-87519-175-7 .


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