Fine Quality Chinese Wedding Bed, ca. 1870
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