Oak and Walnut Tester Bed

  • This lavish American oak and walnut tester bed is adorned by elaborate engraving
  • A canopy of folded mahogany silk is supported by engraved columns that frame the overall design
  • The columns allow one to hang curtains to surround the bed for complete darkness at night
  • Such beds were exceptionally popular in the South during the 19th century
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-5065

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This lavish American oak and walnut tester bed exhibits superior craftsmanship and detail. The design is embellished by elaborate carving throughout in a neoclassical motif the includes shields, crowns, acanthus leaves, laurel wreaths, stylized dolphins and Greco-Roman busts, among others. A canopy of folded mahogany silk is supported by engraved columns that frame the overall design, allowing one to hang curtains to surround the bed for complete darkness at night.

Tester, or canopy, beds were first introduced to high society in the 13th century as an alternative-style bed that allowed for greater seclusion. The first tester beds were made with suspended cords attached to overhead beams on which curtains hung. By the 15th century, canopy beds developed into palatial pieces of furniture. During the reign of William and Mary, the bedsteads became very tall, although they were less wide, in keeping with their loftier rooms. Eventually, tester beds were crafted in more stylized designs, which led furniture makers to consider both functionality and aesthetics when creating these masterpieces. The present bed embodies those that were highly popular in the antebellum South, featuring highly romantic and lavish designs with heavy hung drapes.

Circa 1840

79” wide x 93 1/2” deep x 117” high
Oak and Walnut Tester Bed
Period: 19th Century
Origin: America
Type: Beds
Depth: 93.5 Inches
Width: 79.0 Inches
Height: 117.0 Inches

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