Post Bed

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Federal style, 1795-1815

Tall post beds with rich hangings were an essential but expensive part of the furnishing of a bedchamber in the late 18th century.  Textiles were usually of greater value than the bedstead. The summer season hangings seen here are hand-stitched reproductions based on a surviving original Hampton bed valance of blue on white tambour embroidered muslin. Tambour work, a fine chain stitch made with a tiny hook similar to a crochet hook, was fashionable from the late 18th to mid 19th century. The bedstead has richly carved posts that were seldom seen due to the bed curtains. The bed had been sold by the Ridgely family to a noted antiques dealer during the Depression but was returned to Hampton after it came up at auction in New York in 2002.

Mahogany. a) L 1122.5, W 43.2 cm; b) W 188, L 167.6 cm; c-h) L 228.6, W 152.4 cm; i-k) L 228.6, W 45.7 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 16281, HAMP 20457