One of the more popular iron beds throughout the 1800’s was the “Wedding Ring” design. It was actually a very popular present to give a newly married couple. It was also one of the more prolific bed designs being produced. It seems as though every small independently owned or large foundry had their own version of the “Wedding Ring” bed. The most common was the unadorned “5 spoke” vertical configuration. There was also a “7 spoke” designed one. From there the design encompassed every imaginable design. Scrolling was not uncommon to “Wedding Ring” beds, nor were beautifully design iron castings.
Two of the more unique “wedding ring” beds I’ve ever had, are distinctly different yet equally as collectible for similar reasons. Castings have always been the life blood of iron beds. It’s what distinguishes the quality of the foundry that manufactured it from other foundries of lesser quality and product standards. The two beds below came out of the same small independently owned foundry. They both had finely detailed distinctive “shell” castings on their interior vertical rods. This particular casting was a “signature” casting that was used in a small foundry in Bennington Vermont. Most of the foundries back in the 1800’s were located close to the source of the materials they required to make their beds. Pittsburgh Pa. and Chicago IL. were home to literally thousands of small independently owned foundries. So it was quite unusual for a smaller foundry to be located so far away from those “supply sources”.
Some of the “Wedding Ring” beds used 1″ thick wall tubing with 3/8″ solid rod interiors and the others used 1/2″ solid rod for the perimeter and 3/8″ interior solid rod. Just about the time I think I’ve seen nearly every possible “Wedding Ring” bed ever made……….a new one comes along. Here are a few of the various styles/designs.
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