A rare rice bed has recently sold at auction for $45,000 (£28,000), with another $8,000 (£5,000) for tax and buyer’s premium on top.
According to the antiques dealer who had once owned the bed, this was a bargain price, with the item bought by a bidder from New York.
It is believed that the rice bed was made during 1790 in Charleston for a plantation owner. The four poster bed was in excellent condition, with the original components still attached. The designs were named rice beds due to the carvings of rice stems on the posts of the frame.
The bed had been purchased by an antiques dealer, who had the four poster restored to its original condition before selling it to Andrew Crispo during the 1990s. However, various circumstances dictated that the bed would remain in storage for 20 years, until unpaid storage fees would force a sale at auction. As Crispo is a notorious criminal in the US, the bed may have extra appeal for some collectors.
According to the antiques dealer, it is difficult to obtain reliable information about the bed due to the fact that such items were very often made by a team of skilled workers, including carvers, lathe turners, and carpenters. He added that the bed would have been made so that the curtains could be hung from the frame, adding that the fabric would have been the expensive part of the design.
It would be fitting for the rare frame to be displayed in a space furnished with antique bedroom furniture from a suitable period.
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