In the very early 1800’s the population in this country had become very accustom to and happy with wooden bed frames. When iron beds were first introduced to the public, they were strictly utilitarian and little ornamentation and design were offered. It didn’t take long for the small independently owned foundries in the Tr-State area of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia ,to realize if they were going to survive and prosper, they were going to have to offer the public something they weren’t able to get in wood…….scrolling and outrageous designs. It worked……. and from the early 1800’s through to the late 1800’s, iron beds held the lion share of the beds that the public were buying.
True to form, the Victorian Era was known for ornate garish styling and design. So it was only natural for designers and foundries to want to manufacture beds that fit in with the most popular decor of their time. It seemed the more ornate…. the more popular. But there was also a fine line in that the more castings, their size and detailed required a slightly higher price tag. As is the case at any point in history, price is the determining factor in the popularity and saleability of any item. There was always a market for “over the top” fancy designs. But that market was limited to a very small percentage of the population. A small step down in ornateness, meant beds that would be more salable to the masses. So the “runs” when producing the very fancy beds, in the small independently owned foundries of the day, were limited to a very few. Making them far more collectible today because of those limited numbers.
The most sought after antique, will always be the ones that were made in fewer numbers. Collectibility and value skyrockets with things that are in limited numbers.
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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