The photo of this beautiful “Crown Canopy” iron and brass bed, comes to us from “across the pond”…..not sure if its the UK or Spain. What appears to be a really great looking bed, has some definite “Buyer Beware”, qualities about it. The main one would be “stability”. The way the interior design is connected to the large side poles (with a small brass ball), will never be strong. Only poured iron castings around such joints provide the strength necessary. Beautiful….Yes. Stable and strong…….NO.
The gauge of the rods that form the design throughout the interior of the head and footboard is far too small to give the structural stability needed to prevent any “flex” when setting pillows up against the headboard. Regrettably ……… British iron beds were known for their instability and lack of appropriate castings to solidify all of the joints where metal rods and tubing connected to each other. Conversely ……. antique iron beds that were being made in this country, at the same time, had equally beautiful styling……..but were always much more rigid and strong BECAUSE of the castings we poured around all the joints where tubing and rods met.
If you doubt the validity behind this , take a simple test………the next time you see a beautiful bed like this one, set up…….Put your hand on the head or footboard and see how much pressure it takes to move it back and forth. Also, listen to the “noise” that movement causes. Thats because of the number of places that are secured with screws and little threaded brass balls. Now……..the next time you happen to be around an antique iron bed that was made in this country, do the same thing and see if you get the same results. I think you’ll have your answer. Thats another reason the number of beds that survived from that period of time, are far far greater from this country than the UK and Europe.
Another reason for the quality of our iron beds being so much better than those in the UK and throughout Europe was the quality of iron coming out of the foundries and steel mills in Pittsburgh Pa. But thats another story, for another Blog. So stay tuned….