Learn about Miner's Couch

Also known as a colonial day bed. Another Australian piece, the design derives from the sofas and couches in the Classical Revival style. The single or double ends are rounded or scrolled, with splay or sabre-shaped legs. The ends are connected by three or sometimes four substantial turned spindles. The pieces were sometimes supplied with backs, usually solid wood, of serpentine shape and often with a central 'rolling-pin' turning. The base generally consisted of three or four loose wooden slats laid horizontally. The ends and side rails of these couches were often held together with bolts, enabling the piece to be easily dismantled and transported from one place to another. Hence the colloquial terms often used 'miner's couch', or 'shepherd's couch'. Many couches made in the same general design were not intended to be moved from the parlour and were often equipped with fixed turned feet and upholstered seats and backs. The colonial day beds were frequently made from red cedar, though many examples survive in pine or blackwood.
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Antique mid 19th century Australian cedar miners couch, shaped back board with turned rolling pin crest

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Australian Colonial cedar miner's couch with cushions

Australian Colonial cedar miner's couch with cushion seat and bolster ends C.1870

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Colonial couch c.1870 This simple kauri day bed (or miner's couch) is distinguished by the wellexecuted graduated turnings and elegantly shaped backboard, the design takes its structural elements from contemporaneous beds utilizing slats for support and be

A cedar miners couch, untouched and with original slats

Cedar single ended miners couch with a double curved backboard, a tri-turned head, turned legs, a padded separate mattress and a slatted base

A late 19th century Australian kauri pine miner's couch, the curved back with central scroll above scrolled ends each consisting of three turned supports on S-scrolled supports, above an overstuffed cushion seat on three stretchers, over a plain apron, rai

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