Although Valentines Day comes but once a year. The recurring theme seems to have been something iron beds presented throughout the 1800’s. “Heart” shaped designs were extremely popular. Over the years I’ve lost track of the variety and number of beds that I’ve had. Some were extremely elaborate and fancy and others were quite sedate and minimal in their heart presentation.
It seems the thinner gauge beds had more pronounced “heart ” shaped designs than the larger tube ones which seemed to have more subdued heart designs. Some were so subtle they resembled a “Rorschach” test that was open to interpretation.
It is thought that the masculine nature of antique iron beds was tempered to appeal more to the feminine half of a household by incorporating designs like “heart” and floral castings. The “floral urn” was a very popular casting used on many of them. Most of the small independently owned foundries had their own version of floral castings……..some being far more intricate and detailed than others. It was an easy barometer for the quality of a foundry by the intricacy of their castings. The manner in which they tied their designs in to the overall shape of their beds was another tell tale point.
It would be curious to learn if the “heart” shaped beds that were made back in the 1800’s were primarily introduced around Valentines Day, or if they were a consistent theme and were offered all year long. As a spring line of clothes are only offered in the spring, yet worn all year. Heart shaped beds could easily have been offered at Valentines Day…….once a year. But then obviously used throughout the year.
As antique iron beds keep popping up with the “heart” shaped theme, it would seem as though every small independently owned foundry had their own version……….or………every year they would come out with a new and fresh “heart” design in their catalog.
Here are but a few of the fun “heart shaped” bed designs I’ve come across.
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