Until late Victorian times, the four-poster or canopy bed was regarded as an essential possession for any family of substance and was frequently the most expensive piece of household furniture. Elizabethan and Jacobean beds have heavily carved and turned foot posts, often with melon or cup-and-cover turnings, with the canopy or tester constructed of wood. During the Georgian and Regency periods, the timber posts became much more slender and finely turned, although the draperies were often quite lavish and fantastic. Turnings on Victorian beds, in line with overall trends, were much heavier and more baluster shaped. In general, the foot posts were more ornate than the head posts, and the curtain rails may be square, arched or sometimes domed.The heads of many of the beds were of unpolished timber, intended to be covered by curtaining. Therefore any four poster beds with a polished headboard should be carefully examined.
Many Australian four-poster beds of the period survive, both in cedar and rosewood, often featuring rope twist turnings on the foot posts. more...The headboards were often serpentine shaped or scalloped, and the typical colonial bed features a 'rolling pin' turning on the raised central section of the headboard.
Unlike the 'standard', 'queen' and 'king' sizes of modern beds, there was no standard width for antique beds, as mattresses were individually made. The length and/or width of many antique beds has been changed to accommodate modern mattress sizes.
During the second half of the 19th century, the timber four-poster beds tended to be displaced by the brass and iron beds which were very much cheaper and rather more of a novelty. In the present century, however, fears that the bed curtains harboured disease, as well no doubt the change in fashion, led to many people cutting down the high posts of the traditional bedsteads.
Antique Aberglasslyn House bed, important most elaborate cedar four post bed, This bed has been described by experts as an outstanding example of early Australian Furniture. It is of commanding proportions. The tapering baluster and reeded posts are decora
Huon pine four poster bed. Fine Australian huon & birdseye huon pine bed Tasmania c1860 shaped canopy with Curtain Rods above a pair of octagonal posts with Elaborately carved capitals ex the Dale Frank collection (Bonham roll) reference: Australian Furnit
An exceptional bronze mounted forged iron four poster bed, Italian, early 17th century. 246 cm high, 216 cm wide, 166 cm deep Reference: Decorative Ironwork, Umberto Zimelli & Giovanni Vergerio, Paul Hamlyn, England, 1969, pp 58-9
Early Victorian mahogany half tester bed 6 feet, the canopy with moulded cornice above the turned curtain rail with finial supports. The foot finely carved and moulded with a central oval panel flanked by turned and carved bed posts, raised on bun feet wit
An oak four-poster bed, with ring turn and baluster turned supports and central carved figure to ceiling of bed, upholstered in olive damask silk and cream linen and side curtains and attached lights, together with upholstered cushions and tapestry throw
An oak four poster canopy queen size bed, German, 19th century, with applied cresting and cartouches upholstered in maroon pleated linen and side curtains with attached electrified side sconces, together with paisley cushions and throw, 257 cm high, 160 cm
An impressive late 19th early 20th century Sri Lankan Colonial four poster canopy bed, the folding canopy supported by tapered faceted supports, the bed head with scroll molded crest and back 175 cm width, 213 cm long x 45 cm (from floor to base)
An Australian cedar four-poster single bed, circa 1860, with four stylishly carved posts and a high arched head board with applied scrolled carved decoration and a plain foot board with shaped apron, raised on turned tulip feet, with later side rails, 110
An Australian cedar and rose mahogany four-poster double bed Circa 1860, circa 1860 the double stepped full tester with scalloped edge and central cartouche, above a pair of turned tapering rose mahogany posts with lotus leaf decoration, with arched head a
An impressive Colonial kauri & burr totara banded half tester double bed, headboard and footboard, wooden base and mattress, both ends padded and upholstered. Extensive use of turned galleries and finials. Height 235 cm
A fine Victorian period mahogany four post bed, Scottish, circa 1845 the base board signed in pencil under the upholstery 'Robert L&RD Upholsterer Glasgow Oct. 1847' with bespoke mattress 265 cm high, 167 cm wide, 218 cm long
A fine Australian birds-eye huon and huon pine four poster bed Tasmania, circa 1860, the curveto shaped canopy with curtain rods above octagonal posts with elaborately carved capitals and acanthus leaf carved bases over square lower sections, with a rectan
A fine quality Victorian flame mahogany tester bed, the double bed with an arch panelled foot applied with scroll carving, beneath a bowed canopy hung with a gold brocade drape lined with netting, raised on scroll supports, together with a battenburg lace
An impressive French Louis XVI carved walnut day bed, the channelled arched back rail finely carved with a ribbon garland, above a padded back and sides, the frieze carved to the front with entrelacs, on tapering fluted legs, on four casters with iron fram
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