Saturday, January 3, 2015

Felicity's Tall Post Bed with Tester

Hey there!
      I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday with your families! I bought myself a little something and man did I get a good deal! I got Felicity's Bed for $52.01 in near mint condition!
      For your history lesson, first I am going to talk about the tester beds and their uses... or the gullible myths of their uses... And the second part of this, I am going to talk about the sleep patterns of people in the 18th century, and then of course a quick review of the bed.
     The four post bed was first introduced in the 15th century and was believed to be from Austria. An interesting story I found while doing some research was about Richard the Third. If you don't know who he is, I suggest you do some research because recently some very interesting articles have been released about him that I found to be extremely fascinating...But to keep things short.. Richard III was King of England from 1483-1485. He was brutally killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field and his body was just found buried underneath a parking lot on England.
       The story I found states that when traveling to Leicester for the battle, he brought with him a four poster bed with extravagant bedding and hangings. The bed was set up in a building of some sort (was not stated in the story where it was set up). Anyways, after being killed in battle, his murderers stripped the bed of all its expensive bedding and left the four poster bed with the landlord. The bed for many years was passed from tenant to tenant and was know as quite an attraction to see. Well during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the current owners discovered that the bed had a false bottom... a secret compartment that was filled with gold owned once by Richard III. Cool, right??
      Okay so.. back to the subject at hand.. Through my research, I have come to find two purposes for the four post beds creation that seem to make sense. The first being warmth. Having curtains around your bed acted like a tapestry over a window did. Kept in heat and kept out the draft of a cold breeze. Houses, castles, what have you.. were cold, drafty, and hard to heat in the 18th century and previous years. Beds like this actually would often be a popular place to socialize during Medieval times just because of the warmth.
       The second reason was simply to show everyone how wealthy you are. Tudor beds were massive richly carved pillars. The curtains were made of rich fabrics and embroidered with many detailed scenes. The wooden headboards were also carved with grand scenes. Queen Elizabeth I bed was made with silver, gold, silk, satin, and velvet.
Tudor Bed Circa 16th Century
Four Poster Bed at the Historic Colonial Houses Hotel in the Ewing Shop
Colonial Williamsburg

        There was one theory I heard about four poster beds that is absolutely silly...There was a post going around Facebook entitled "Life in the 1500s." It was a list of "facts" about life in the 16th century that was actually a load of rubbish... there was a part in it that read like this....

I'll describe their houses a little. You've heard of thatch roofs, well that's all they were. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. They were the only place for the little animals to get warm. So all the pets; dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs, all lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Thus the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs," 

Since there was nothing to stop things from falling into the house they would just try to clean up a lot. But this posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings from animals could really mess up your nice clean bed, so they found if they would make beds with big posts and hang a sheet over the top it would prevent that problem. That's where those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies came from.

           This is so not true. Only the rich could afford to own canopy beds and the rich did not live in houses with roofs like that. The poor were lucky if they even had a bed in all honesty. 

           In the 18th century, there is very strong historical evidence that shows people had very different sleeping patterns than us today. Their nights of sleep were segmented, which according to Historian Roger Ekirch, means that within a 12 hour period people would go to sleep shortly after dinner, sleep 3-4 hours, then wake up for 3-4 hours...and then go back to sleep until dawn. This way of sleeping ending around the time electricity was invented. There was a scientific study done by Psychiatrist Thomas Wehr that supports the theory that this sleeping pattern is actually our natural way of sleeping....but that's science. I won't go into that.. but it is a very interesting study and I suggest you look it up!   
        During the awake time it was common for people to talk, pray, be intimate, read, commit crimes, and even visit their neighbors. A lot of writers did their writing during the awake time...I know I am more creative late at night! Which would explain why I always write these posts after midnight! 
        Anyways.. Now a little about Felicity's bed. When I got it in the mail, it was taken apart. With just a couple turns of an allen wrench it was together, so as for assembly... it was super easy. My five year old son put half of it together! My first impression of the bed was... WOW....This thing is HUGE! It stands two feet tall! My second impression was... Its BEAUTIFUL!! The bed is made of wood I believe and is a dark stain color. The curtains are red and white checkered print and the blanket is a red and white toile print. There are little gold brackets that cover the screws to make it more decorative. The curtains have to be tied to the wooden canopy on top...which was horrible! My hands hurt so much afterwards! But that's is my only negative comment about the bed honestly. So there you have it. I hope you have learned something new and interesting. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I am not so good at the whole review portion so if I left out something you want to know about, ask away! I love getting questions and feedback! And remember if you enjoy my blog to click on the follow button! I have much more to come!

The cover for the screws, it just flips down.

The ties for the curtains! The top canopy goes over it so it isn't seen but man! What a pain!

My cat, Mr.Cotton displaying the size of the bed... he slept in it for a few hours!

1 comment:

  1. I come back from time to time to read your reviews and I must have missed the last picture last time. Mr. Cotton is adorable!