Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Antique Road Show - What Famous Person Slept Here?

Well, I must confess that as far as we know, nobody famous has slept in any of the beds I am going to show you in this post.  We don't really know the provenance of most of them.  Both my mother's family and my dad's family bought and sold antiques. My mother continued that tradition...once refusing to sell this desk she had purchased to re-sell after the potential buyer shared that she planned to paint it and my sister said, "oh no, that would ruin it."  Fifty years later it is still in the family, now owned by my niece who has everyone's permission to paint it if she wishes. (And we support Camille's decision to paint the twin beds coming up....)

Would you paint this piece?

To and fro and back again.

Beds:  My sister (not famous, except in the family for her legendary memory) slept in this bed after my parents moved from Hobbs, NM to Atlanta, GA.  Mama gave it to Rosalind when she moved to Albuquerque and into a one bedroom apartment and used the sleigh beds (in the photo below) so that she could have friends spend the night. Years later when my Mom moved from a one bed room apartment to a two bedroom one in her retirement community, Mom asked for it backNow that Mom is in Healthcare, it has returned to Rosalind's second bedroom.

These twin antique sleigh beds that my mother purchased in St. Louis at an estate sale (someone famous could have slept here before we owned them) and my sister and I slept in as a young girls, are now in California, newly painted by my daughter for her three-year-old twin's room.  At some point, I imagine the beds will be passed on to their children. Or perhaps to nieces and nephews.

$5.00 bed
This is my sister's bed.  It has a wonderful story. When my grandmother and her two sisters were young adult women, they went camping.  On the way home they noticed this bed frame leaning up against a tree in a farmer's yard.  They stopped and asked what he was going to do with it.  He said he was throwing it away, so they asked if they could buy it.  He said, "Well, you can just have it."  When they returned with the spanking new buckboard and their prosperous dentist father to help load the bed, he changed his mind and asked for five dollars!  Which they paid.  You will notice in the lower right of the pictures, the holes for the pegs to hold the ropes that would have supported a feather mattress.

My grandmother Rose's bed was passed on to my Uncle Bob and then to me.  I converted it into a queen size.  You can hardly tell that the mattress extends about 3 inches beyond the bed rails on either side supported by an iron kit that I purchased at a local mattress company.

I did buy a special mattress that is less deep than the current styles, so that you do not need a ladder to climb into the bed!  I am wondering if beds were so tall back then to take advantage of the fact that heat rises?  So the nearer the ceiling, the warmer you would be in the days before insulation and thermal windows when homes were heated by fireplaces and wood stoves?

Reminder:  Do you own something that is precious because it has been passed around or down in your family?  Post a comment below by clicking on the pencil or send an email to heathergaume@gmail.com.  Would love to see a photo as well.  Would like permission to post something about your story, but will honor requests to keep it private if you prefer.

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