Collections › MESDA Collection › High-post Bedstead

High-post Bedstead

Place Made:
Southwestern Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
1800-1820
Medium:
tulip poplar
Dimensions:
HOA: 71 7/8; WOA: 51 1/2; 76 3/8
Accession Number:
2175.2
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Neoclassical high-post bedstead; the posts tapered and turned round from the rail up, with a turned design below the rails; the rails with ogee molded top edges and beaded bottom edges; equipped with knobs for ropes; with head and footboard pedimented; feet are balls above small spikes; small lamb’s tongue where footboard meets posts and circular section begins.

WOODS: The use of poplar as the primary wood was common in the Piedmont, sometimes stained to resemble walnut or cherry and often painted blue or red. This was particularly true of cabinetmakers and turners of German background who adopted poplar as a substitute for their traditional linden tree.

TERMINOLOGY: The word “bedstead” referred to the wooden frame which held the mattress. “Bed” more commonly referred to the mattress itself.

High-posts were used to hold curtain rails. Draped with curtains around the entire bedstead, the piece of furniture could offer semi-privacy as well as a defense against draughts.

History:
Found in Wytheville area of Virginia.
Credit Line:
Purchase Fund