Mahogany Four Poster Canopy Beds
Antique English four poster canopy beds made from solid mahogany wood. Hepplewhite divides beds into two types: four poster beds for state rooms which use plain or figured silk and satin, and fringed velvet; and canopy beds for less grand rooms which use printed cotton and linen and plain or corded white dimity. The material used in the canopy was considered to be very important
In practice, for reasons of affordability, the beds actually made from these designs were rarely as elaborately done as pictured.
¶ Are an article of much importance, as well on account of the great expense attending them, as the variety of shapes, and the high degree of elegance which may be shown in them.
¶ They may be executed of almost every stuff which the loom produces. White dimity, plain or corded, is peculiarly applicable for the furniture, which, with a fringe with a gymp head, produces an effect of elegance and neatness truly agreeable.
¶ The Manchester stuffs have been wrought into bed furniture with good success. Printed cottons and linens are also very suitable; the elegance and variety of patterns of which, afford as much scope for taste, elegance, and simplicity, as the most lively fancy can wish. In general, the lining to these kinds of furniture is a plain white cotton. To furniture of a dark pattern, a green silk lining may be used with a good effect. From the designs, Plate 98, we have been informed, a bed, with little variation, has been made of dove colour satin curtains, with a lining of green silk.
¶ In state rooms, where a high degree of elegance and grandeur are wanted, beds are frequently made of silk or satin, figured or plain, also of velvet, with gold fringe, etc.
¶ The vallance to elegant beds should always be gathered full, which is called a petticoat vallance. The cornices may be either of mahogany carved, carved and gilt, or painted and japanned. The ornaments over the cornices may be in the same manner; carved and gilt, or japanned, will produce the most lively effect.
¶ Arms, or other ornaments to stuffed headboards, should be carved in final relief, gilt and burnished. The pillars should be of mahogany, with the enrichments carved.
¶ Plate 95. Design for a Bed, The vallance to this bed is tied up in festoons. The Cornice of mahogany, may come so low as to hide the curtain rods.
¶ Plate 96. To this design the cornice will look well japanned. The curtain to this bed is drawn up and fastened by lines at the head, or with a loop and button.
¶ Plate 97. This design has a sweep top: the ornaments and cornice may be of mahogany, or gilt. To this bed is added a stuffed headboard, with ornaments and drapery over it. The drapery may be the same as the furniture or the lining: the ornaments gilt; the headboard is stuffed, and projects like as the back of a sofa. The addition of stuffed headboards gives an elegant and high finish to the appearance of beds. The curtains here are drawn up in double drapery, and fastened by lines at the head.
¶ Plate 98. This design has a Venetian or waggon top; the ornaments on which, with the cornice, may be japanned; the pending ornaments under the cornice are intended to act and serve as a Vallance; it may be either gilt or japanned. The bases are enriched with festooned drapery.
¶ Plate 99. Design for a Bed, with a low dometop, and projecting front. The cornice and ornaments to this design should be gilt. The arms to the headboard, if cut in low relief by a skillful workman, and gilt, will have a lively effect.
¶ Plate 100. To this design a dome-top is given: the inner part of of which may be in the same form; the cornice and enrichments of gold burnished in parts. The curtains to this bed are festooned by lines which draw at the head. This design is proper for Latin or velvet furniture.
¶ Plate 101. Design for a bed with a square dome-top. The inner part in the same manner. The cornice will look well japanned or gilt. The valiance to this bed is enriched with festooned drapery. In this design the effect of a stuffed headboard and drapery are completely shown.
¶ Field Beds. Two designs are here given, which show the manner of hanging the furniture, and placing the ornaments.
¶ Plate 104 shows the various sweeps or shapes in which Field Bed tops may be made.
¶ Press Beds. Of these we have purposely omitted to give any designs: their general appearance varying so little from wardrobes, which piece of furniture they are intended to represent, that designs for them were not necessary. The Wardrobe, Plate 85, has all the appearance of a Press Bed; in which case the upper drawers would be only sham, and form part of the door which may be made to turn up all in one piece, and form a tester; or may open in the middle, and swing on each side; the under drawer is useful to hold parts of the bed furniture; may be 5 feet 6 inches high, and 4 feet wide.
¶ Plates 105, 106, contain eight different designs for Bed Pillars. The feet to three designs; on Plate 106, are called Term Feet; and are intended to be shown when the bed is complete, as in Plate 100, etc
Cornices for Beds or Windows
¶ Nine designs for Cornices, which are suitable for Beds or Windows, are here shown: these may be executed in wood painted and japanned, or in gold. A mixture of these two manners produces an elegant and grand effect. The foliage may be gilt, and the ground work painted: or, the reverse, the designs marked C F G are intended to be all gilt with parts matted and burnished.
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