But back in the 1800’s how did stores or people that wanted to buy iron beds, see what was available.
There were catalogs with pencil drawings of the different beds a company offered. But the best way was to see a sample of an actual bed. But that wasn’t practical. Dry good salesman would travel from town to town with a horse drawn wagon full of samples that store owners would place orders for. One of the more popular miniature samples the salesman would carry with him were “iron bed samples”. Many people mistake them for “doll beds”. But they were actual miniature replicas of the different bed designs, with detailed castings.
True salesman samplers are quite rare and highly sought after. It was the main way beds were shown to the public and private store owners.
I have a small collection of 4 samples. I actually had a 5th which was an absolute match to a bed I had in my inventory. When I sold that bed, I made the mistake of letting my customer know I had a salesman sample, that was an absolute duplicate of what the bed she just bought. In the end…….she ended up buying the sampler from me for all most as much as she paid for the full size bed.
Antique iron beds probably would have taken a lot longer to experience the popularity they did, had it not been for the “salesman samplers”.
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.
I also invite you to take a look at the multiple “Before & After” photo’s on our company Facebook at