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ElgaKoster

Period bed hangings and coverings

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ElgaKoster

Martha and Tamra, I am starting this thread on bed hangings and coverings here.

I found these three links that have some info, this first one has some lovely crewel work.

http://www.bluffton.edu/womenartists/womenartistspw/needlework/crewel.html

As does this second link with some interesting history on the family as well, I have to say that this bed makes my fingers itch to try some crewel work and the bonus with these fairly big designs is that they should be doable in miniature with the right fabric and thin silk threads.

https://oldyorkmuseums.wordpress.com/category/bulman-bed-hangings-project/

And this link has quite a lot of quilts and coverlets.

http://www.historic-american.com/

I found this bed on pininterest but the link to the original website doesn't work anymore. It seems that most of the stuff that has survived is either 19th century or belonged to the very rich, just as well that my dollhouse family can afford better stuff than me...but I am curious as to how blankets etc looked way back and how they were made.

post-6-0-71082400-1450535675_thumb.jpeg

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CarolynDenning

Hi Elga. Jumping in here to say how much I like these bed coverings and curtains. Are they for the Dutch house you've been working on? Are you planning on doing the crewel for them?

Carolyn

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ElgaKoster

I have no idea yet what I will do for the Cape house...Tamra, Matha and I started talking about bed hangings etc in another thread and decided it would be better to have a seperate thread on this subject...info on this subject except for museum pieces seem to be very little, I hope we can uncover some interesting facts...I for one am also very curious about the matresses etc of the 18th century.

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Wm. R. Robertson

You know that soft yellow bed pictured above would look really spectacular in my full scale bed room, the walls are sort of the dark grey/blue you see in the pattern. I should add, the rest of the furniture is from that period too.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Fine Woodworking no. 53, (1985) has a an article about making period bed posts - methods from the Deep South, specifically Mobile.  The article begins on page 28.

 

"In Colonial days, testers carried the weight of voluminous side curtains of expensive imported fabric, which could completely enclose the bed and its occupants.  A richly draped bed provided privacy and shelter from drafts, and showed off the family's wealth as well.  One old document lists 56 yards of material ordered as bed "furniture" which is what they called the fabric." 

 

"Mattresses, filled with up to 40 pounds of down, were at first supported on thick stuffed pads laid directly on the floor, but methods of raising them up on webs of rope and canvas were soon devised, with the ropes secure through holes or pins in the rails. 

 

40 pounds of down is a lot of chickens!

 

The article has a photo of bedposts chronologically from Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton & early Victorian styles. 

 

It is interesting to note in the article written in 1985 that Robert Reid is using a shopmade duplicating router to carve four knees at once, following a pattern in the center - that would be interesting to see in operation; DH indicates the cabinet shop he worked at in the 1980s had CNC Routers... (they made ALOT of doors.)  Wikipedia does not give me dates or credit for invention of CNC wood routers.

 

www.reidclassics.com and their antique reproduction brochure, page 8 of 16 illustrates some beautiful options for bed posts for reference of period styles of bed posts.

 

Reeding has always been on my list of things to learn when making a bedpost and then add to this seeing a machine rope twist a post and that would be a wonderful learning opportunity.

 

Absent of a lot of museum touring, I suggest, "Women's Work, Embroidery in Colonial Boston" by Pamela Parmel is a good reference book if interested in reproduction of historic crewel bedcoverings.  and "18th century Embroidery Techniques" by Gail Marsh can be used as reference too.  I haven't purchased "Seventeenth & Eighteenth Century Fashion in Detail" by Avril Hart but suspect that this will tell me what was "fashionable" in this period, and how fashion influenced interior décor in America.

 

I wish I could time travel and go find out how one obtained cloth in the 17th & 18th centuries - did they have fabric for clothing and fabric for home décor as we do today?  to me, silk, is silk... I can use it for my home or to make me a dress, and I wonder if cloth was marketed differently in the 17th & 18th centuries.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Thank you Catherine for the link, in spite of all the great beds...I am really glad I wasn't a royal back then! I visited both Hever castle and Hampton court palace in 2006 and saw many of the beds that were shown in the video. I certainly remember Queen Anne's deathbed...all those mattresses reminded me of the story of the princess and the pea, for those of you who don't have time to watch the almost hour long video, here is an article on it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2382424/Tales-Royal-Bedchamber-BBC4-documentary-historian-Lucy-Worsley.html

And Bill, I found more info on the crewel bed hangings and bedspread, they are in the Winterthur museum, the bedspread was made in the 1700's but the rest in the early 1900's from fabric embroidered in the 1700's, a happy marriage of colors because on closer inspection one can see the designs didn't originate from the same stitcher...I wonder just how long it did take them to embroider these and if they had stands for it or not, those were all pretty big! Here are links to some of the pieces, they are all individually listed on the website...and I just love that colorful rooster on the side valance...rather a bit unexpected too!

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=60&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=on&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=Textiles&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1954.0014.003&srchfld=&srchtxt=Bed&id=be75&rownum=121&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.Vna8-XpXerX

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=60&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=on&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=Textiles&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1954.0014.006&srchfld=&srchtxt=Bed&id=be75&rownum=121&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.VnbAJ3pXerW

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=60&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=on&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=Textiles&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1954.0014.001&srchfld=&srchtxt=Crewel&id=3774&rownum=1&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.VnbAdXpXerW

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=60&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=on&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=Textiles&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1955.0749.011&srchfld=&srchtxt=Bed&id=90c9&rownum=301&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.VnbAc3pXerX

The museum even have a few miniature beds, here is one of them.

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=60&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=on&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=Textiles&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1964.0139%20H&srchfld=&srchtxt=Bed&id=1ad0&rownum=841&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.VnbAr3pXerX

I wonder if that article that you mentioned is on the finewoodworking website Tamra, it sounds very interesting.

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Mesouth

Thanks for starting this new thread to continue our bedding discussion. Elga, the links to the individual pieces at Winterthur were great.  

 

In the deep south the railings would not only support decorative fabrics, but mosquito netting as well.  The mattresses were often stuffed with moss. Yes, the gray Spanish Moss that hangs from our large Live Oaks.  There was a group of professional moss pickers that supplied the mattress makers.  I would imagine that only the wealthy had a top mattress stuffed with down - luxurious.

 

The bed that I am dressing for my 1850 Louisiana Plantation Bedroom is a half tester. I plan to use a patterned silk for the curtains, a solid silk for the bedcover and do "crewel" embroidery on an old linen napkin with a small crocheted edging for the bed skirt.  This is all a concept right now!  :unsure:  Of course it won't really be "crewel" embroidery, because I will probably use silk thread. Crewel refers to the wool that was used in this type of embroidery which is thought to be at least a thousand years old.  I think I read somewhere that it was very popular in the 17th century in Great Britain, but I know it is still practiced in the southern states of the US. I've done several crewel projects in real-life over the last 50 years - give or take a few. Not sure if it is still popular elsewhere.

 

On a recent mini-trip to the Good Sam show, we visited the Getty Museum and I took a picture of a very elaborately dressed bed from Paris, 1775-80. I am not sure if posting that picture violates some proprietary rule, so I won't post until someone weighs in on that.

 

Martha

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WeekendMiniaturist

I didn't realize that moss was used to stuff a mattress, but I would think it would have been more comfortable then straw and is interesting in terms of regional differences in material availability. 

 

I have always wanted to do the tree of life applique quilt as crewel pattern for a miniature bed.  it was photographed in one of my antiques magazines and I think is a perfect subject for a crewel bedspread - but it is many, many projects away.  We would call this one historically inspired but not historically accurate as it was appliqued not done in crewel.

 

I think Pat Richards did the same pattern in French knots, I will have to go back to petitpointers albums and see if I can get her album to load.  Pat R's 2016 Crewel class at Guild School would be great introduction to crewel for anyone interested in trying this technique.  I would definitely want to do my crewel work with silk threads - and I've been collecting silk sewing threads to keep adding to the stash and to give myself more color options. 

 

It would also be fun to go to a large needlework show in the states if they were demonstrating life size crewel stitches... in the interim, though, I'm glad that we have books.

 

It is my basic understanding that I own the rights to my own photographs - but it can get tangled when I publish photos of something I do not own, or something that I did not have permission to photograph and publish.  I think it is appropriate to review.

 

 

The Getty's terms of use / copyright is on their website.

 

www.getty.edu

Home

Terms of use --> is at the bottom, and they do mention public domain.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Well Martha, right now I wish I did have a bed with mosquito nets, we are having a very hot summer and there seems to a hundred times more of them than usual...all of them desperate for a midnight snack!

I haven't heard of using moss either before, interesting how people use whatever they had available to them.

I think that although crewel work was done in wool historically in modern times the words does convey a style now, there are a fair number of new books on the subject with a lot of the work done in cotton threads and silk. There is a South African stitcher whose work has become famous across the world, Hazel Blomkamp, her books should be on Amazon too.

http://www.hazelblomkamp.co/shop

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Mesouth

I read the Getty "Terms of Use" and only found information related to their digital images, nothing related to sharing my own photos (which I had permission to take - just no flash), so here goes.

 

This elaborate Paris Bed from 1775-1780 is in the Getty Museum in California. It is a little too much for my tastes, particularly the feathered finials, but the passementerie is gorgeous! I hope Bonni Backe sees this!

 

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Tamra, notice the carving on the crown.  It would take me a lifetime of lessons to be able to carve like that.

 

Elga, the Hazel Blomkamp site is wonderful, much too detailed for scaling down, but beautiful patterns.

 

Am really enjoying this thread!  Martha

 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

This bed is fit for a queen - such a fine specimen of luxury.  I could at least make the swags.  The techniques that I am applying now from Alison Ashby's class is very appropriate for the carvings at the top of the crown of the bed. 

 

Martha, the color of the silk would coordinate nicely with the furniture that we saw at the Boston MFA.  Was that also French Furniture?  hmmm.... I think yes...

 

<lightbulb> I think gold leaf would adhere nicely to the clay that I am using for my overmantle carving.  I remember using Gold Leaf on the Judee Williamson resin chair kits that they sold way back when, so with some fussing I think my carvings would also take gold leaf - will have to add that to the future experiment list.

 

I am guessing that topping each post are ostrich feathers? I think this is the detail that I find most fun.  The puffs of white on each post say, "touch me!".  Yes, I see your post indicates they are feathers, and instantly my mind goes back to the feathered helmets of uniforms, and very exuberant bed indeed.

 

Tamra

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WeekendMiniaturist

Regarding the Winterthur bed, Do you think the wood top of the canopy is finished?  I know it says linen & cotton was used for the pieces 1938 - 1954... not that old, not even 100 years...  That design of the molding on the top of the Winterthur bed is commonly available in miniature.

 

US Customs laws indicate an antique is something made 100 years before the date of purchase. 

 

Do you think it took 16 years to do this set in its entirety?  oh goodness, I better start on my miniature project NOW.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Tamra, I have to say that the wooden canopy at the top did bother me, it looks like pine and certainly doesn't go with the wood of the bed posts.

If you read further down on the website's page it does say that the hangings were made from fabric that were embroidered between 1750 and 1780.

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WeekendMiniaturist

WRR, master embroiderers in historical England were men - you can join us in this most delightful hobby - and the students can teach the master.  :)  You already know how to make a needlework stand, and the life size companion to match your miniature would be most appropriate for this period.  Although you will need a much larger stand for these panels.  Needlework is a most relaxing hobby and soothes the mind for a good nights rest.

 

Elga, I was skimming though my one book on Winterthur, by Jay E. Cantor.  Pg 105 has a very, very small photo of this bed (3"x3"), but the Tree of Life Design that originated from the famous applique Quilt is behind the headboard in the Cecil Bedroom in the photograph in the book.

 

"The scrolled flower and vine designs on the crewel-embroidered window and bed hangings suggest other eastern influences.The polychrome crewel embroidery on the bedspread is worked over and around an appliqued tape that forms a strapwork design.  The spread is believed to have been inherited by John Hancock from his uncle Thomas, a stationer and bookseller in Boston during the first half of the eighteenth century." 

 

(I wonder how Mr. Dupont acquired the crewel pieces - guess I'll have to read the book.")

 

There is a another 4 poster bed with flat canopy that has "finely worked crewel embroidered hangings in pastoral landscapes."

 

(Sidenote:  my beloved Montmorenci Stair Hall lives at Winterthur.)

 

on page 215 is another beautiful canopy bed with a Bed Rug.    "Bed Rugs, actively produced from the 1730's to the 1830's represent a vernacular tradition of home production.  Like hooked rugs, these elaborately patterned and brightly colored works have a special appeal to American enthusiasts.  The bed in the Wynkoop Room (above) is hand stitched in loops with a needle and is dated 1748."... a new opportunity for our miniature French knot artists.

 

I cannot imagine working on needlework via candlelight in the evenings.  I'm am so greatful for the invention of electricity and our resulting LED lamps that serve us today.  Without the ability to work with good lighting, it would surely slow down the needleworker's progress.

 

I'll see later if I can find some links on the internet for the beds referred to in the book.

 

Tamra

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Mesouth

Elga, the pine bothered me, too!  I wondered if it was a replacement piece or if it were meant to be upholstered?

 

Hmm, French Knots for a Bed Rug!  Now that is something I might be able to do. Since it has been so long since I did any crewel work, maybe I should start practicing. 

 

Martha

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WeekendMiniaturist

www.winterthur.org

 

I found the bed rug in the "textiles & Needlework" link.  it was worked by Mary Foot.

 

also try to access galleries by subject.

 

www.museumcollection.winterthur.org

 

The Antique crewel embroidered pieces are Object 1954.0014.001 as per the photo that Elga posted above.

 

Search for Object 1952.0358.002  Cecil Bedroom view 3 to see the tree of life embroidery.  These embroideries are not antique and are dated as 1943-1951. (There are at least two sets of embroidery for the bed when you view the inventory.)

 

Let your fingers do some walking...If Annelle is reading the forum, when I was reading the book last night, I think they have a fishing ladies embroidery piece too, and I do not remember the location of all the fishing ladies embroideries, but it is worth noting if we ever go on trip to Winterthur. 

 

There is even an entire section of tools too for our old tool collectors.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Tamra

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