FORM: Eighteenth-century tall-post bedsteads from the Chesapeake region are rare, and this particular bed is exceptional among American examples of the period. The relatively low height of the bed and the chamfered rather than turned posts are early details. (RAES)
STYLE: The finely sculpted cabriole legs of all four posts are finished with the pied de biche, or hoof foot, favored in both France and England in the early decades of the eighteenth century.
WOODS: The Santo Domingo mahogany from which the bed was made is of a very poor grade, clearly exhibiting sapwood at the knees and on the footboard and rails. These light-colored patches were most likely stained originally, though there is little evidence that the maker made any attempt to deal with the various knots and other flaws in the material. The bed represents one of the earliest known uses of mahogany in the South. Mahogany begins to appear with some regularity in the furniture of Williamsburg, Virginia, by 1730. (JB)
WOOD: West Indian mahogany (swietenia mahogono) tested (BLR)