Learn about Brass and Iron Beds

As early as 1833, J.C. Loudon in his Encyclopedia was singing the praises of the wrought or cast iron bedstead, partly because they were less likely to 'harbour vermin', and partly because of their cheapness. The iron beds were made in a variety of designs stump beds (with short ends not intended to have curtains), tent beds, half tester and four-poster beds.

The early iron beds were usually fairly plain, except perhaps for the brass knobs at the top of each post. With the advances in manufacturing techniques during ,the 19th century, the beds became more elaborate. Some were made of solid brass, others of iron coated with brass. The cast-iron beds were usually painted black or sometimes white, but assumed more and more decorative features. Brass circles, fitted with glass or mirrors, brass sleeves, brass or painted china spindles (known to the trade as 'porcelains'), mother-of-pearl inlay, brass rods and finials were all used to ornament the bed. Some iron beds had decorative wrought, cast or pierced designs in the end panels. Plain, cheap iron beds of course continued to be made either for servants or for children. more...
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