Chippendale

In writing about the furniture of any part of the eighteenth century, we must be careful not to omit reference to the four-post bedsteads of the particular period to be dealt with. These constituted a most important factor in the homes of the wealthier classes in the old days, long before the productions of the forge and foundry had seriously invaded the sleeping apartment and provided it with " black," " black-and-brass," and "all brass" {vide the furnishing catalogue) creations, with their patent woven-wire and spring mattresses, which supplanted the sturdy oak and rich mahogany productions with their elaborate draping.

It is not in any way necessary for us to discuss the respective advantages of the wood, as opposed to the metal, bedstead, however greatly we may regret the disappearance of the former from our midst; and I will rest content with simply placing on record the various types that were to the fore at different periods, leaving the question of their healthiness for hygienists to fight out between themselves. In justice, however, to the modern manufacturer, I must draw attention to the fact that it is now easy to obtain wooden bedsteads which are in every way absolutely free from the insanitary disadvantages which, owing to their method of construction, were inseparable from the older types. The frames of these modern successors are made of iron, and the mattresses of woven wire of the cleanliest and most approved description.

The collector who may be desirous of adding genuine old eighteenth-century "four posters'' to his store of treasures may at the outset be warned that no small difficulty will be experienced in doing so, for they are but rarely to be found in their entirety. For this difficulty two reasons may be advanced. In the first place, the number originally made was comparatively small; in the second, as bedsteads of this class have fallen almost entirely into disuse, those which survived until eighteenth-century styles came again into favour after

0 0

Post a comment