One of the major draws that metal beds have had throughout history, has been their adaptability into any specific color scheme or decor. Why is that…. and what sets them distinctly apart from other antiques , that are not so flexible in its usage?
The first thing is that back in the 1800’s wood furniture had a very set social affiliation.Funny as that may sound it was quite true……….There were certain woods that denoted a certain socioeconomic status and other types of wood that denote the opposite. The more expensive “hardwoods” like cherry and walnut, were found through beautifully design upper class residences. Even the interiors of all the the beautiful Victorian estates of the day were usually done in Cherry , Honduran Mahogany, or Walnut. Those woods were never paint………simply sealed with clear lacquers to show their rich tones and grain. Also to let people know valuable they were and how well off a person capable of owning a good piece must be.
Furniture that was painted usually went into lower class homes. It didn’t make sense to paint a beautiful piece of collectible Cherry wood. But a common piece of Ash or Poplar wasn’t that uncommon. There was certainly a place for painted wood furniture back in the 1800’s and some of it was quite collectible and later became extremely valuable.
But the beauty of antique iron beds lay in the decorative castings and scrolled iron work. All iron beds were paint back then…… it was just a matter of what color they’d be painted. Therein was the adaptable popularity. A soft pastel colored room could certainly be enhanced with the use of a bed frame in a complimentary color scheme.
Quite often manufacturers painted their beds in a two tone manner………. parts in one color and other parts in another. Often the perimeter tubing was a darker color and the interior was a white.
Another form of paint used on beds back then was “gold guilding”. This was usually reserved to accent the castings and have them stand out from the rest of the bed. Occasionally a manufacturer would paint an entire bed in gold…..trying to mimic their “brass bed” counterpart.
The same hold s true today with the populariity of antique iron beds, is their ability to blend with any decor or color scheme.
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.
I also invite you to take a look at our company Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.