Antique Poster Bed
Antique Poster Bed created in circa 1825. This antique poster bed is one of few known available examples of a magnificently carved poster bed from the first quarter of the 19th century. It marks a great time in American history of the post-colonial period. Indeed, the bed displays features of both the Neoclassical Federal period and Empire period in style. Thus, it is an incredible antique bed for sale to fit any historic home.
Carved Poster Bed
The majestic posts of the carved poster bed reach heights of nearly eight feet. The craftsmen carved these posts with delicate acanthus leaves and beautifully carved pineapples. These historical motifs testify to the popularity of Neoclassical design during the 19th century. Of course, elegantly carved acanthus leaves are Greco-Roman in origin. America was just forming her identity, and looked to the art of Greece and Rome. Surely, the young Republic saw itself politically and artistically as the spiritual heir of republican Rome and of Greek democracies. Thus, Americans enthusiastically adopted Neoclassical design elements into their interiors and furniture design. Obviously, the acanthus leaves are prominent on nearly every inch of this carved poster bed.
Also, the symbol of the pineapple was important to early Americans. Of course, exotic pineapples grew in the warm climate of the Caribbean. During the 18th and 19th centuries, a voyage along the trade route to the Caribbean Islands was slow and dangerous. When a seafaring husband returned home to the colonies safely, their wives placed a pineapple above their door to celebrate. Additionally, it communicated to others that the man of the house was home and could welcome visitors. Thus, pineapples came to symbolize hospitality. Furthermore, an exotic pineapple given as a gift was considered the utmost display of generosity and hospitality. Here, the sweet pineapple fruit is permanently encapsulated in this incredible antique poster bed. It caps each of the four posters with elegance and refinement.
Antique Empire Bed
There are several design features that categorize this as an Antique Empire Bed. Particularly, the thickness of the posters, the rich mahogany grain and the heavy ornamentation speak to Empire Style tastes. The Napoleonic style popular in France made its way to the Americas in the 1820’s. Americans loved the strong and imposing look of French Empire Style. They mimicked the strong and block-y look of French Empire Furniture in Empire Dressers, Empire Sofas and in this Antique Empire bed.
Additionally, Empire style centered around rich woods and flame mahogany veneers. Here, we see this antique empire bed has incredible mahogany veneers featured on its headboard. The fine wood denotes wealth and class. It has a sumptuous and elegant look.
However, Americans adapted and transformed the Empire style to something all of their own. For instance, the “rams ear headboard” on this bed curls around and culminates in carved rosettes. This rams ear style design was incredibly popular in Philadelphia and Massachusetts. This lead us to believe that the antique Empire bed was commissioned by a wealthy merchant in either Boston or the Philadelphia area. Certainly, it has a very New England flavor.
This antique bed unfortunately required some repairs and restoration. Of course, a bed of this age had suffered the effects of time. Our team was able to make very subtle and sensitive repairs to the top crown on the foot board. Also, they were able to approximate the dark finish color of the bed. Finally, they recreated a canopy top for the poster bed. These changes allow us to truly appreciate the beauty of this bed as it might’ve been in circa 1825.
This bed, in its quality and design, marks a period of wealth and artistic taste in the post colonial age truly unique to American history. The incredibly imaginative design, beautiful mahogany materials, and incredible restored condition, make this bed a truly precious heirloom that should be cherished for years to come.