Not something traditionally seen in this country…….but the Butler’s bedroom was a common setting amongst the upper class throughout England. Because the butler held a rather important role in the families day to day living, it was important his private sanctuary be befitting his station in life. Often great pains were taken to make his bedroom as comfortable as he saw fit.
Because iron beds were the standard during the Victorian period, it was quite common for the butler of a family to have a rather elaborate, yet masculine, one.
Black was the color most beds were painted in England at that time. In my last blog I mentioned how a beds “gender” could be established by the color and finish. In America at the same time England was refinishing the majority of their iron beds in Black…….we were using every color of the rainbow on ours. We used a lot of gold guilding on the beds casting. Whereas in England, as you can see from this photo, they used brass medallions.
As you can see, the bed in this photo is a very mature elegant piece. There was little room for femininity in British beds and no room for femininity or whimsy. A butlers bed was befitting his position in the family.
Antique iron beds from the Victorian period in England reflected the “moral” highground England choose to display to society.
England was so rigid in their decorating throughout the Victorian era, that if a person wanted something outside that confined and limiting decor, they had to have it shipped in from places like “decadent” France or even America or Spain.
The “butlers” bedroom and bed were a respectful display and representation of the conservative times. A person without such conservative views would never have been given such an integral position in the families affairs.
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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