Mass production in bed manufacture during Queen Victoria’s reign meant the introduction of vast numbers of machined iron and brass bedsteads. Unhealthy living conditions generally dictated a more hygienic form of bed and the iron bedstead fitted the bill.
However by 1850, people were looking for a change and due to advances in mass production, there was now a greater choice of revival styles for wooden beds available. The growing middle classes wanted this elaborate bed, which had been a symbol of high status in the Elizabethan era and were quite happy to purchase revivals of these old style four posters, the period examples of which had had great family connections and had been passed down from generation to generation.
The trade immediately responded to requests for varying styles of bedroom furniture and retailers such as Heals and Gillows (of Lancaster) had any number of Elizabethan, French Rococo and Gothic styles for people to choose from. In fact, the size and scale of the revival four poster fitted in well with Victorian middle class pretensions. Gillow was also showing fine Adam style revival pieces at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, and Heals were stage setting grand bedroom suites in the Louis XI style which showed cream enamelled mahogany furniture with gilded ornamentation and satin silk hangings. This particular bed exhibited by Heals was priced at £2000, which was a huge amount of money at the time.
When looking for period and revival antique furniture in Lancashire and Cumbria, ask to see some of these fine examples of Victorian dining chairs, revival beds, desks and Victorian antique cabinets.
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