Andrew William Mellon (March 24, 1855 – August 26, 1937) was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.
This bed was said to have been a wedding present for his wife Nora Mary McMullen, from Andrews mother Sarah Jane Negley Mellon, who also had received it as a wedding present from her husband and Andrews father, Thomas Mellon who had it commissioned for his wife because of her love of “butterfly’s”.
The Mellon family was a wealthy and influential family originally of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were principally known for banking and their ties to Gulf Oil, Alcoa, as well as their influence on Westinghouse, H.J. Heinz, Newsweek, U.S. Steel and General Motors.
This particular bed is thought to be a “one of a kind” and I’d have to believe Andrew took precautions so there would never be another one like it. The only way to do that was to commission the foundry that made it, and have them agree to break all the molds and never produce another one like it.
One of the unique things about this bed is that the cast iron butterfly wings are literally “one” solid poured cast iron piece. Pouring something that large required a real craftsman as the larger the cast, the more possibilities for cold cracks beause of uneven pouring of the liquid iron. The detailing on all the castings is incredibly sharp and crisp.
Because it’s one of the two best antique iron beds I’ve ever come across in the 40 years of being in this business, it now resides in my daughters room. Some things just aren’t for sale.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
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