We came across this bed in the Chicago area where foundries were nearly as plentiful as those in the Pittsburgh Pa area, back in the 1800’s. The foundries in the Chicago area, that manufactured iron beds back at that time were known for their unique designs and high quality craftsmanship. Many of the small independently owned foundries of the day, did not tend to detail, as did the ones in the Chicago area.
As you can see from the photo, brass has been beautifully integrated into the design of the iron and the iron was obviously designed to incorporate the unique scrolled and curved brass.
I’ve mentioned in a few other blogs that the reason foundries that made iron beds, incorporated brass into their designs , was to try and bring in a share of the ever popular "brass bed" market. People with brass beds were looking for an alternative to the boring “one-color” that brass offered. But beds like the Shepherds Staff offered them to only the brass they’d become accustom to, but also iron that could be painted to look either darker and more masculine or lighter and more feminine.
One of the reasons white was one of the more popular colors to paint beds back then was the publics desire to get away from the darker oppressive “brass” look. White lightened up a room and also had a fresher, clean, feminine feel.
Castings are always something you should inspect on a bed. Not necessarily for any damage, but more for the quality of the detailing and size. The primary reason for beds like these having the weight and strength they do, is because of the solid cast iron castings that are poured in the foundry around every joint where two or more pieces of iron come together. The castings on this bed are very good and the corner castings are extremely beautiful and detailed.
Bed quality like this doesn’t surface much any more. They are only found in the private collections of people that would never sell them………only will them to family members.
Hope you’ll take the time to give us a shout or email us a request to see some of our great 400 bed inventory. Have a great day and thanks for stopping in.
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