Fine Quality Chinese Wedding Bed, ca. 1870, SOLD LAYAWAY

SKU: F1067 Category:


Chinese wedding traditions go back many centuries and involve much preparation and
superstition. Upon a betrothal (with most partners having never met before the wedding),
a lavish bed was commissioned; the quality and decoration of which depended largely on
the financial means of the families. The bed would often take as long as a year to
complete. These beds reached their zenith of quality in the 2nd half of the 19th C and are
among the most decorative quality pieces of furniture found anywhere. It was common for
the wife to spend the majority of her day in the bed and receive guests. Some examples
feature separate rooms and are almost a house unto themselves. This example is made
of cedar and other woods; made so that all parts are joined together with pegged joints
and can be disassembled for transporting. It consists of a mattress frame with legs and
supports beneath, painted side and overhead panels, and an elaborately carved and
painted front frame and large decorative valence. Panels with carved dragons, animals,
nature scenes, and Oriental architecture; painted panels of battle, court, and every day
life; painted primarily in rich reds, gold, and black. Holds a 3/4 mattress (halfway between
the size of a twin and full), available from most mattress stores. Bed has some
restoration, with refreshed colors done during the 20th C in China. Fabulous one-of-a-kind
piece of art which was at the very heart of the traditional Chinese family. Fully assembled
size 96″ wide by 104″ high by 70″ deep. The large valance can be removed without
leaving an unfinished look, leaving a height of 83 1/4″ and allowing it to fit in a room with
standard 8′ ceiling. Then the valance can be used as a matching window treatment.
Some or all of the side panels can also be removed to create a more open look, with
unused panels hung on the walls as matching wall art. Very versatile! Similar beds on the
market are actually incomplete examples and offered as finished pieces without some or
all of the panels. Price DOES NOT include shipping or setup.

For a video discussion of a very similar bed, appraised at $20,000-$25,000, go to