In the early 1840's iron furniture was introduced into the
homes of America. Until then iron was customarily used in the garden area for urns,
benches light poles and primarily in the home for staircase bannisters, and architectural
uses, such as cupolas, porch railings on terraces, etc.
With this dramatic introduction to
utilitarian and furniture purposes were born some of the most beautiful and well crafted,
as well as distinctly durable items of that century as well as today's.
One of the most useful, durable and
beautiful of these items is the Iron Bed in my opinion. With the graceful curve of
the Nouveau period beds to the stalwart strait structure of the Mission period, the
iron beds dictated the look of a room, yet could be used with any style furniture, from
pine to rosewood.
Although I admit that the Victorian
era iron beds are my favorite...many Mission and Country beds also satisfy my thirst for
this wonderful piece of our history and future.
It is my firm belief that these beds
will endure the hardships and trials of the future, just as they have for the past one
hundred and sixty years.
One of the true delights in using
the iron bed is the ability to change the color to match the decor of your room.
Let's face it....our decorating changes from time to time. An iron bed will always
blend well with any decor...even modern.
Even the iron baby beds....which
I do not recommend for a baby unless it has been converted to safety regulations.....have
their uses in and out of the home. They make lovely loveseats, daybeds, etc.
Be sure to coat with a clear marine finish if used outside the home ... such as porch
benches, or plant holders.
While authentic antique iron beds
are the most in demand, metal beds are coming on strong. I am not referring to
foreign made cheap material beds, but rather to the 1910 through 1940 era, which were very
sturdy in most cases, and make inexpensive additions to your home. These beds are
given honorable mention only because the fall into the antique or collectible bed
class. Be careful if you sandblast metal beds because the thickness of the metal can
be cut into easily with sandblasting. This is not the case with iron beds as they
are much thicker material.
Three quarter iron beds were much in
demand in the late 1800's as most people either made their own coverlets, etc. or they
could be purchased just about any where. Today they can still be purchased, but
generally from select companies, rather than any department store. Three quarter
beds are 48 inches wide and need a custom mattress. Again these mattresses can also
be purchased ...but generally from a mattress company rather than department stores.
Sometimes the length of the bed is also shorter than the modern bed.
There are many reproductions
of the iron bed.....but none can encompass the distinct beauty or durability of the
Authentic Antique Iron Bed. True antique iron beds stand in a honor roll all their