Naylor Antiques

Early American Furnishings

A Federal Mahogany Bedstead; Baltimore, c.1815

a Federal Baltimore turned mahogany tall post bed, c.1815; retains its original one-piece figured mahogany headboard and tulip poplar tester; the original rails are un-altered in length; the use of more expensive mahogany for the rails was rare, expected only of a “city” maker having access to greater supply; even on the finest beds, headboards and/or rails were often made of poplar, both for economical reasons as well as the fact that they were usually hidden by bed coverings; similarly, head posts were usually not as profusely carved because the canopy hangings hid them from full view (see example below); a lack of multiple ring turnings, no “ears” and/or “rolling pin” on the headboard, and the lower placement of the vase turnings on the posts, all indicate an earlier date for this piece than its’ Baltimore Empire counterparts (see figure 32 in Gregory Weidman’s Furniture in Maryland 1740-1940); in an old, possibly original “chocolate brown” finish; dimensions: 61” wide x 78 ½” long x 93 ¾” tall

$10,000; Sotheby’s, January 19, 2002