Nearly 50% or more of all iron beds made back in the 1800’s had corner castings or “finials”. These are the decorative castings on the top of the corner of the head and foot board. They are as diverse in their style as the beds they go on.
So what can be determined from corner castings? Actually quite a lot. The most telling factor is the quality of the foundry that produced it. Foundries back then were as diverse in the quality they produced as car manufacturers or mattress companies are today. Some were extremely high in quality and turned out incredibly detailed beds that are museum quality pieces today. Others produced low end beds strictly for practical, utilitarian use. Those foundries spent little time on their corner casting detail. For them, corner castings were simply a means with which to cover up the raw joint where two pieces of iron were joined. Although from a technical standpoint, that reason is correct…… top of the line foundries that produced the beds we all love seeing, were equally as concerned with the intricate detailing their castings had as they were the technical end of structurally holding the bed together.
Remember…….. the quality and detailing of the corner finials and castings throughout a bed will give you a pretty good idea how good it’s quality .
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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