It never ceases to amaze me the variety of castings there were on iron beds back in the 1800’s. But during this holiday season I thought it most appropriate to share one that isn’t readily seen. It came in on a beautiful antique iron bed I’d bought back in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. It’s a pair of “angels” holding a Christmas Wreath.
The castings that foundries designed and poured on their bed styles were usually beautiful, but very generic. The problem with manufacturing an bed with a very “distinctive” casting was that you really limited the audience that would potentially buy that bed for their own home.
Over the years many of the iron beds I’ve come across, seen and sold have been ones with beautifully detailed casting.. And many of those same beds were quite prolific that I’ve seen quite often. But for instance……the bed that had the “Angel” casting on it………..I’ve only ever seen twice in the forty years I’ve been doing this. That leaves me to believe, in fact, that this bed did have a very limited audience. Consequently there were very few of them made. The more unique, and what is considered collectible today, were ones that certainly were produced in numbers and obviously didn’t make much money for their designers.
I’ve had beds with large “indian” head castings on them and others even with “horse shoes” and “woman’s faces”. Although those beds were extremely collectible and valuable today……. back in the early 1800’s I’d venture to say the foundry and designer were scratching their heads trying to figure out why those particular ones weren’t run away successes.
I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall when a designer was trying to set his boss why a particularly outrageous bed would do well . Off the top of your head, you’d think the outrageous ones wouldn’t have much of a broad audience. If that wasn’t true…….you’d be seeing more of them today.
But now those unique beds, with castings rarely seen, have come full circle and are the more collectible of any.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
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