Brass bedsteads….a Victorian legacy

Lochranza Brass Bedstead from The original Bedstead Company

Lochranza Brass Bedstead

The Victorians first perfected the art of Brass Bed manufacture.

In fact, as long ago as the early 1840s this expressive metal had taken a grip on the hearts of the nation as affluent and aspirational customer of the time, clamoured for the inspired and evocative designs made possible by the dextrous use of brass and the innovation of the era.

As the Industrial Revolution inexorably continued, hundreds of iron and brass foundries enjoyed boom times across the British Isles as they catered for a nation that had embraced the Brass Bedstead revolution.

From the smallest factories producing only a few bespoke beds a week, to the largest, manufacturing on a grand scale, by far the highest concentration of plants were to be found in the industrial heartlands of the Midlands and Birmingham in particular. Here, skilled artisans worked with this opulent new metal to produce bedsteads of huge elegance and style.

Incorporating such elements as porcelain and mother of pearl into designs of often-immense detail and majesty, there are wealth of wonderful creations from this era that are still preserved and revered today. The Victorians liked to furnish their homes in style and often the most important piece of furniture within any lavish country home or elegant town house would have been the bed.

Indeed, as had been the case across the centuries, the bed was considered a status symbol and cherished as such.

For those privileged by wealth and ancestry, the only limitation to design possibilities was that of the imagination, and so we find bedsteads from that noble era of grand proportions and sleeping heights that would be considered extreme by today’s standards.

In fact, Queen Victoria herself is purported to have enjoyed a particularly lofty sleeping perspective! Despite a period of often-great austerity, by contrast there can be no doubting the impact made by these enticing designs on affluent homes of the time as these timeless classics captured perfectly the infectious spirit of invention of the day.

Glamorous, inviting and more than just a little romantic, they surely must have captivated then just as they do today.

In addition, whilst the world might have changed, in this modern age it is still possible to own a Brass bedstead that captures the compelling artisanship and design integrity that was the watchword of those 19th century forefathers.

Beautiful bedsteads such as the Braemorethe Arran and the Clifton or simpler, less visually demanding designs such as the Kendal to name just a few, are living testimony to the fact that diversity and uncompromised manufacturing methods are still to be enjoyed in a world where mass production and ubiquity is often the norm.

And for those who lack a penchant for laborious metal polishing, these latterday classics, with their deep antique patina lacquered finishes, might just prove to be a rather more attractive proposition for discerning owners for whom a busy lifestyle is the norm…!

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