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Late 18th Century Antique Federal Tiger Maple & Figured Mahogany Four Poster Bed

Late 18th Century Antique Federal Tiger Maple & Figured Mahogany Four Poster Bed

Regular price $4,875.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $4,875.00 USD
Sale Sold out

With our highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering this spectacular early American four poster bed. The entire bed is comprised of the highest grade of old growth figured tiger maple hardwood and features two book-matched solid crotched mahogany panels which provide a brilliant contrast amidst the striking presence of the lighter toned maple. This bed has a commanding presence and will be the centerpiece of any room that it is housed in. The four tall posts were all constructed by a master wood turner in the generation following the American Revolution period during a time before machine powered lathes. The substantial size of each post and sophistication of the turning patterns indicates the participation of one of the finest wood turners of the colonial era. Each post is entirely formed from solid tiger maple which is one of the hardest woods to turn as it is heavier and denser than nearly all other native hardwoods. Typically most early American period beds have posts which are smaller in scale or made from woods such as pine or poplar which are much easier to utilize in furniture construction. Many beds are heavily varnished so that it is not immediately clear which type of wood it is made from however the difference becomes clear when the density of each bed posts is observed. While nearly all colonial era beds are generally high quality and made with a standard of craftsmanship not commonly found today it is worth noting that beds with heavier posts are more desirable as the weight of each post counteracts the various movements made by whoever may be sleeping in the bed. The most important aspect is that each iron bolts and nuts remain tightly bound and that the rails and posts are secured properly however after that a bed with heavier posts will counteract and decrease the wear and tear of every day use. A lighter duty bed will be more susceptible to creaking and slight shifts in the bed components over a lifetime of regular use.

The headboard is constructed with a frame and panel type construction which allows the crotched mahogany panels to float within the frame as seasons turn and the wood experiences changes in humidity. The headboard does have several age related splits in the woodwork which have been stabilized as is common with centuries old antique beds. The crest of the headboard is curved and rolled backwards indicating a substantially higher degree of craftsmanship. Each bed post and the turned blanket rail is fashioned with tapering widths and ringlets and the tops of each post are finished with flared necks and rounded ball tops. The bed retains large sections of the original varnish particularly along the lower portions of the posts. Over the centuries this bed would have been meticulously scrubbed particularly in times of disease outbreaks by a member of the household. The varnish was inconsistently cleaned off in larger areas such as the headboard and then the woodwork was overcoated with an organic finish such as a natural shellac with linseed oil or something similar in nature. This is much preferred among antique collectors over the entirety of the bed being sanded and refinished with modern products as is the case with most antique beds over time. The next owner of this bed will get to experience the full beauty of the brilliance of the tiger maple grain and have the benefit of seeing elements of the bed in the original finish with centuries of oxidation and a rich patina and color. Overall the bed measures 80 1/2" long x 56 3/4" wide x 74" tall. The interior sizes of the bed frame are 49" wide x 71 3/4" long. Please let us know if you need advice on acquiring custom sized bedding it is much easier than you may think. We have assisted our clients with this process many times before all across the country and often times our clients get a higher quality mattress at a substantial savings compared to regular retail bedding prices. There is 17 3/4" in clearance height from the floor to the bottom of the rail. Each rail stands 21" tall off the floor. From the floor to the bottom edge of the headboard is 23" and the top of the headboard is 51 1/2" off the floor. We look forward to providing this colonial American treasure with a home for future generations where it will be cherished and well cared for.


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