310.457.1106     
ironbeds@cathousebeds.com

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed.

But consider this

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated
those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known Presidents in American history delivered what would be known as “The Gettysburg Address”.
His carefully crafted address, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and lasted just over two minutes.
So what, you ask, could this old antique iron bed have to do with such an historic day in our history. First…….We came across this bed in Gettysburg, Pa. It came from an elderly gentleman who’s family had lived all their lives in Gettysburg. Going back generations to the early 1800’s. He said that the bed had always been in his family and had been handed down from generation to generation. He remembered it being in his grandfathers house when he was a small child.
So once again…….consider this. The bed that you’re looking at…… was actually being used in a home, on the day President Lincoln delivered one of, if not the, most famous speech in our history. Nice to put in perspective the age of these old iron beauties and what our country was going through when they were being used.

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago.
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women and children and caused another million to flee the country. Many of those fortunate enough to have escaped one of the most devastating famines in history, settled in Chicago. Which at the time was only 8 years old with a population of only 6000, …..giving the Irish an opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the growth of Chicago from it’s inception. Steelmills and the development of the railroad were areas of economic development the Irish helped pioneer. So it’s not unusual that symbols of Irish pride and good fortune would find their way into such things as iron beds, that foundries of the time were producing.
This bed is from the mid-1800’s and one of the finer examples of the craftsmanship that small independently owned foundries, of that period, were producing.

If you happen to have an antique iron bed, you might want to check the detailing on it’s castings. Although decorative in nature, they often held more meaning than you might imagine. Numerous floral castings all held certain meaning, as did fruits such a pineapples for hospitality and artichokes symbolize “peace”.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800’s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public was limited to one look… one color…..one feel. Metal beds offered a stronger more durable framework that didn’t make the noise that was inherent in brass beds. Because all the points of connecting one rod to another or one tube to another were cast together, there was no friction when there was movement in the bed…….hence….no noise. All of the connecting points on a brass bed were with screws and small brass balls that had to be continually tightened.

Iron beds also offered the public the ability to determine what color they wanted in their room. No longer were they stuck with the boring look of all brass. Most manufacturers offered any color you could show they. Because a bed had to be painted to preserve the iron, it didn’t matter to the manufacturer what color it was. To them it was only important to sell the bedframe…. not get hung up on the color. Although the majority of people think iron beds were mostly painted white, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greens, blues , reds and black were very popular colors back in the 1800’s. The majority of beds still being found today have dozens of coats and colors of paint on them. Even “two tone” combinations were popular back then……. as they are today and with us.

But occasionally a buyer would love the design of a bed that happen to have brass on it. But they didn’t want the brass. That also happens to be the case today with decorators and clients alike who’s decor just doesn’t work with brass. When that is the case we are asked to either try and replace the brass with iron tubing or rods, or paint the existing brass. As was the case with the photo you see here.

It’s important, when painting brass to ruff up the brass with either sandpaper ir a very lite sandblasting. When sandblasting, care has to be taken not to over blast or blow through the brass tubing. For the paint to bond properly the brass has to bond with the primer that goes on first. You should always use two thick coats of primer, and be sure they dry adequately before applying the next color you want to see.

If done properly, painted brass can look as natural as the rest of your beautifully restored antique iron bed.