Antiques Magazine - September 2013, Antique Beds - ANTIQUES.CO.UK

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    Antique Beds

    Posted by Gill Jones on 20/09/2013

    There’s nothing grander than an antique bed –imagine walking into the bedroom to see the most exquisitely carved bedstead complete with a sumptuous mattress to lie on? It would certainly be quite a site and many people do invest in antique beds, rather than pay for a contemporary one and one can hardly blame them. Many Victorian beds, especially French ones are more ostentatiously carved, while others from a similar period are plainer, but no less beautiful. There are many antique beds available on that have been sourced from various locations. The more elaborate French ones sit alongside the more conservative English ones amidst the odd Italian bed and some 18th century Georgians. They’re all carved from various types of wood, the most common being oak, walnut and chestnut. There is certainly a wide choice and if you’re looking for a bed, you’ll have plenty to choose from.

    During Victoria’s reign, in keeping with mass production methods of the industrial revolution, many beds were produced, they were in high demand, especially brass and iron. Styles were varied and incorporated different designs from French Rococo to Gothic and Elizabethan. The four poster bed design was once again revived, the bigger the better. They could be very expensive, but Victorians were happy to pay if it meant keeping up appearances.

    The Elizabethan four poster revival was extremely popular during the Victorian period and there are many available on The Victorian satin birch half tester double bed dates from around the end of the 19th century and is a fine example of this particular style. This bed is in excellent condition and comes as part of a bedroom suite including a triple Wardrobe, a bedside cabinet and a dressing table.

    There is an even more ostentatious double bed from the late 19th century in the Rococo style, Italian this time, not a four poster, but quite grand all the same with a serpentine head board with carved and gilded edges. It’s in excellent condition and would certainly add a certain something to a bedroom, provided of course there was enough room to house such a magnificent bed.

    There’s a particularly beautiful bed from the Georgian period also, a little less grand than the former ones, but no less beautiful in its own way. Made of a rich dark mahogany it’s a handsome bed held up by strong thick legs that would look stunning in a room with subdued lighting and sumptuous bedding.

    The French certainly knew how to make a good bed, there’s a particular beauty here with this antique French Louis XVI white single daybed for a child in its original colour, it’s exquisite, and in excellent condition and with a mattress you have a scene stealing bed with breathtakingly detailed carvings on the legs and bedstead. There are quite a few French beds as well as Italian and English and all are in excellent condition. The French Kingwood double bed with a carved rosette at the head and cabriole legs looks brand new, but is from around the late 19th century.

    Antique beds certainly make a refreshing change from the tedious and unimaginative MDF beds that are here today and gone tomorrow. They may have style, but little in the way of substance unlike their ancestors, which have outlasted the centuries. It is unlikely the more modern made bed will do the same.

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