A Very Fine and Highly Impressive Charles I Oak Tester Bed
The well-carved headboard has a central recessed panel with a large stylised flower head and scrolling leaves set beneath a semi-circular arch, supported on architectural pillars. The base of the panel has a narrow shelf formed by angled sides with ‘S’ scroll carving. There is much evidence that the shelf was used to hold a candle as scorch marks can be clearly seen (many early houses suffered from the effects of fire, often started by the beds, especially the drapes, alighting).
The flower-head motif is repeated on the vertical panels to each side of the central recess, again with a flamboyant scrolling leaf detail. The headboard is finished at the top with two horizontal carved panels.
The framework of the headboard has a complicated run-moulding on both uprights and muntins, this moulding is repeated on the framework of the panelled tester (reassuring us that tester and headboard match).
The two posts to either side of the panelled footboard are amongst the best I have seen, for both proportion and detail, with a bold cup and cover design characteristic of the first quarter of the 17th century. The posts are further embellished with much discoid and ringed turnings. The colour of the posts are absolutely fabulous – burnished over generations to achieve a deep, rich patina.
Gloucestershire, circa 1620-30.
Length 83.5 inches, height 78 inches, width 53 inches.
A note to modern comfort – there is a new sprung base and mattress made to fit exactly the shape of the bed, both of which are supported on an independent frame which sits inside the bed rails, so as not compromise the originality of the bed.