A little hard to imagine what was going through the mind of the person who designed the castings for this particular antique iron bed. The overall design, with the French curved sides and sloping interior rods, is very pleasing…..but then why put “Dragon Head” corner castings and a scary looking medieval demon at the center top of the head and footboard. Thats a real head-scratcher.
Here’s a possibility………… In England back in the 1800’s, a number of foundries and bed designers were incorporating small “beveled mirrors” into the design of their beds. Word had it that the mirror would protect the occupants from any demons or evil spirits, by reflecting their image back at them and hence, scaring them off. The antique iron beds that were being made in England at that time were not known for their detailed and intricate castings/chill’s as we were at the same time. The iron ore and the production of steel, in this country, was far superior than what was being made throughout Europe at the same time. So what if, in place of those little mirror’s, their were actual depictions of “demons and gargoyles”, in hopes of achieving the same results of scaring of the late night intruders.
I’ve actually had antique iron beds that the casting of a frightful dragon or demon or even a lion head was so pronounced, I felt compelled to bring it to the attention of potential buyers. Also…..the Victorian era was marked by a certain eccentricity and fascination with the exotic and unusual. Beds with unique and fantastical designs like demon faces or gargoyles appealed to the Victorian penchant for the dramatic and unusual. The Victorian era saw a revival of various historical styles, including Gothic Revival and Renaissance Revival. Gargoyles and demon motifs, for instance, are commonly associated with Gothic architecture and were incorporated into furniture designs during this revival. Furniture makers and artisans of the time saw these beds as opportunities to showcase their skills and creativity. They would incorporate intricate details and elaborate ornamentation to demonstrate their craftsmanship.
Whatever the real reason was………antique iron beds of this nature are some of the most highly sought after pieces in antique furnishings.
Hope you found this blog enlightening. Also hope you’ll take the time to go back and revisit our website and see all the things we have to offer when it comes to antique iron beds.