A good nights sleep is priceless, there is nothing better than sinking into a sumptuous mattress at the end of a hard day. A bedroom should be a space of tranquillity and calm, a haven away from the stresses of life; an antique bed is a beautiful item of furniture and is sure to make the lure of sleep even more appealing.
In ancient times, 1000 BC, beds consisted of little more than a pile of straw and mud and other natural materials such as animal skins and leaves. It is thought that around 27BC mattresses of hay and feathers were being used commonly for beds.
The Egyptians were the first culture that are thought to have raised their beds above ground level, with the elite of Egyptian society having beds made from wood, they may have also featured gilding and during this period many of the beds had headsteads. The ancient Medes and Persians had similar beds, decorated with ivory, mother of pearl and precious metals. It was a time of opulence for sleeping arrangements.
Later Medieval Europe stuffed mattresses and lay on the floor but it was not until the 12th Century that more beds began to be made in Europe; they were made from wood and decorated. By the 14th Century people understood the benefits of sleeping above the ground and basic bed frames were constructed of wood slats and rope straps with straw or hay on top, hence where the phrase ‘hitting the hay originated’.
From here bed strings replaced the rope and an intricate threading process held the bed up, however these became loose and weakened and needed tightening, thus the other popular saying ‘night night sleep tight’ originates from this time.
By the end of the 14th Century the four-posted bed was manufactured and it was the Tudors who introduced the four-posted bed to the UK. Four-posted beds during this period were as elaborate and intricate as possible, they were demonstrative of wealth and often made of solid oak. Queen Elizabeth I was the owner of some of the most lavish beds of all during this time, she had several magnificent beds in her various abodes and even travelled with her favourite.
By the 15th Century beds increased in size and were generally large, and by the 16th Century there was an increase in decoration although now the frames were lighter. The bed evolved throughout the ages and by the 17th Century there was the introduction of ‘La Duchesse’ and Louis XIV beds, both were extravagant and luxurious beds. By the 18th Century cast iron beds were in existence and in 1865 the coil-sprung mattress was developed.
Antique brass beds first appeared in the UK in the 1820’s, during the Victorian era they became increasingly popular. There are a large number of antique brass beds to choose from. Whimsical curves and scrolls were often features of Victorian brass beds, they were opulent with intricate and exquisite looking headboards and footboards, often decorated with floral designs. There were four posts, which supported testers, which held fabric canopies and protected from illness, cold and insects.
Edwardian brass beds were not so heavily decorated; they were more feminine and light with softer designs. An Oxford antique brass bed is very classical and elegant with curved headboards and footboards and fluid lines. An Art Nouveau brass bed from the early 1880’s is an attractive antique bed with flowers, leaves, vines, grapes and insects, water lilies and poppies, the design represents the creation of life, with flowing lines and curves the style of the bed has a natural rhythm. Art Deco brass beds are more angular and geometric with zigzags in the design. Harry and Lou Epstein produced some striking Art Deco beds, some of which featured cabinets. Antique brass beds are expensive, however they are also very valuable.
Other antique beds of note include French antique wooden beds, a Louis XV style double bedstead is a popular choice, French antique wooden beds can be upholstered, and the structure uses curved lines and often has cabriole legs.
Day beds from the William and Mary period have clean lines with straight backs often in a baroque style. Antique beds from the Queen Anne period will often feature cabriole legs and curved backs in their design.
French rococo antique beds, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI antique beds are all nice pieces. 18th Century rococo, neoclassical and empire styles are favoured if you would like a more feminine antique bed.
An antique bed frame is a true investment, both visually appealing and valuable, they will positively impact the bedroom and your sleeping space. An antique bed is an attractive option for arguably the most important time of the day- bedtime.
352 items available.
Vintage French Demi Corbeille Double Bed Frame
A gorgeous bed frame with matching bedroom chairs upholstered in pink chenille fabric.
Traditional Louis style wooden frame with rustic crackle cream paint featuring pretty ...
Louis XV style bedstead with painted and gilded framework and upholstered panels. The bed comes with its original runners within the side runners. The base and mattress will need to ...
Cream antique bed in brass and iron with brass top-rail, down bars, rosettes and knobs. The brass decoration at the top and bottom of the foot panel differs. The brass ...
6ft antique brass bedstead adapted from an original frame with superb central plaque on the foot panel.
The brass has been polished and can be lacquered, nickel plated or copper plated ...
Exceptional quality Art Deco style European double bed and bedsides in Birds eye maple with empire style pillars at head and high quality ormalu. Corbeille style foot board has ...
Black antique bed in brass and iron with brass top-rail, down bars and knobs.
This bed accepts a British King Size or American Queen Size (5ft wide, 60 inches or 150cm) ...
Handsome all original Victorian brass and iron double bed with very nice original brass decorations of central ring, spindles, knees, feet, bottom and top rail and collars and knobs. ...
An elegant antique Edwardian mahogany and inlaid double bed dating from circa 1905. In a richly figured mahogany frame, the headboard and footboard inlaid with satinwood inlay. Featuring an inlaid ...
A handsome antique Edwardian panelled oak double bed dating from circa 1910. In a richly figured oak which has been newly restored, the solid oak panelled headboard and footboard with ...
A good quality antique Edwardian single mahogany bed dating from circa 1905. In a beautifully figured mahogany the headboard and footboards have rectangular frames with rail backs and oversailing top ...
A most unusual chaise lounge / daybed /sofa. 19th century spiral turned with original tapestry panels and seat standing on turned leg terminating with quality brass casters. This item ...
Offered for sale is this antique limed oak single bed. This is part of a whole suite I have listed individually. Dating from 1910, in the manner of Heals. Limed ...
Good quality solid walnut king size bed with simple carved banding and thistle knobs on head end. The bed has been cleaned and polished to enhance the lovely aged patina ...
Classic Victorian small single brass and iron bed. Ideal for smaller space/room. Attractive bed, professionally restored and finished in hand paint Jack black from Little Green paint company with aged ...
Simple Irish cottage style double bed.Very nice simple diamond detail with good definition in decorative castings Beautifully restored with joints restored for good fit and side rails strengthened and adapted ...
Pleasingly simple all iron king size no end bed. Lovely detail in decorative casting.This bed has been sympathetically adapted and restored with side rails extended and fashioned to to support ...
Very lovely early Victorian iron and brass bed with cast central foliate motif and curved iron details. Good definition in decorative castings. The rails have been strengthened, extended and adapted ...
This is an elegant antique Victorian brass single by Hoskins & Sewell of Birmingham dating from circa 1890. Founded in 1850, Hoskins and Sewell were one of the 19th centuries ...
A splendid pair of vintage oak single beds in oak. The headboards and footboards have a geometric shaped panel to the front with applied central cartouche and stand on turned ...
A stylish vintage Art Deco large single bed (3ft 6 Wide) bed in richly figured walnut veneers, the headboard and footboard with attractive shell carved top rail and standing on ...
A very smart antique Edwardian walnut double bed in a richly figured walnut frame, with attractive carved roundels to the central splats of the headboard and footboard which feature vertical ...
This is an elegant antique Edwardian mahogany and inlaid single bed in a beautifully figured mahogany with satinwood inlay throughout, the supports topped with flat cap finials in an Arts ...
A handsome antique Edwardian oak large single bed (3ft 6 Wide) bed in a richly figured oak, the headboard and footboard with attractive carving to the top rails flanked by ...
Platform style cast iron bed adapted from an original antique frame. Finished in our hand painted charcoal with nickel plated brass rosettes and knobs.
This bed accepts a British King Size ...
Lovely simple French all iron king size bed with good detail in decorative castings. Bed has been professionally restored with joints checked for good fit and rails extended to suit ...
Attractive Irish no end double bed with individual brass rail decorative detail. Ideal for smaller room or room with a view. The bed has been carefully restored with corner joints ...
Newly upholstered king size French Lit Bateau with original crackle glaze paintwork with gilded details. The frame has been cleaned and waxed to preserve. Pleasing foliate details in the decorative ...
Victorian cast iron bedstead with decorative panels. This bed accepts a 3ft 6 inches wide (42in or 118cm) British Large Single Size base and mattress set.
The price is for the ...
6ft antique bedstead in black with brass straight top-rails, decorative rosettes, shoulders, kneecaps and down bars.
This bed accepts a British super king size or Californian king size. (72 inches, 6ft ...
Extra wide platform style bed that has been adapted from an original antique frame. Finished in black with curved brass top rail. This bed accepts a British super king size ...
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