What comes to mind when you hear the word iron bed. It can be as varied as those from the same Rorschach ink blot. Some people, mostly men, believe iron beds are pure femininity…….there’s nothing masculine about them. Other people feel they embody the Victorian romantic era and still others feel they were purely beds from the brothel.
As time has gone on, these ideas have become more and more set in our minds. What people fail to realize is the number of beds manufactured back in the 1800’s…… practically everyone had one. No matter what your socioeconomic status, they were prevalent throughout society. There were plainer more Austere ones, all the way up the design scale to elaborately scrolled Victorian styles of museum quality. There were designs and styles for everyone. So for us to think this form of bed was only for a select few……is very short sighted.
The range of designs swung from Austere to Art Nouveau to Victorian to Deco to Craftsman. Although all these design periods spanned a far greater period of time than the Victorian period when beds were being produced, it seems many of those designs that came out of the Victorian era, could easily fall within other design periods that were far later in history. It leaves us to believe that many of the designers , had visions way before their time would come or be popular. I’ve had numerous more modern Art Deco designs that you’d think were produced in 1920’s or 1930’s………instead of the 1840’s, nearly a 100 years earlier.
It should be remembered iron beds were the norm………not the exception back when they were being made. They crossed all lines of gender and design.
I’ve had large 2″ diameter ones with over sized interior tubing that came straight out of log cabins. Over the years I’ve come across tons of beds that were definitely designed and made for the male population. Even the darker black iron finishes or brown with gold trim……. were definitely made with men in mind.
The preconceived notions that most of us have about them couldn’t be farther from the truth.
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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