An offering of Historical Rope Bed & Jenny Lind Spindel Bed from the 1800s

Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts, Antiques and More 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo has recently acquired two awesome antique bed frames from the late 1880’s or 90’s that are unique for the design and story.

The first acquired piece is Jenny Lind or Spool Bed Headboard and Footboard presented to our collectors.These have a history of fans from Abe Lincoln for the 1850’s Opera singer Jenny Lind, the ones from the later 1800’s and early 1900s are unique finds. The history of the spooled bed or Jenny Lind is unique…

The spool bed, or Jenny Lind bed as they’re often called, is one of our favorite antique styles. The spool detail is so delicate, crafted, and beautiful and these beds can really add a special element to a space.In the 16th century, colonial woodworkers rediscovered a tool called a lathe for the spindles, which dates all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Upon rediscovering it in Europe and America, they went nuts with it and used the lathe on every square inch of wood. They were so popular, even the president was sleeping on one.

Abe Lincoln’s bed at the Chicago History Museum was a spindle bed or Jenny Lind.

These beds are referred to as two things: spools for their resemblance to sewing spools and Jenny Lind after the 1800s Swedish opera singer of the same name. Ms. Lind came to America in 1851 on a much-publicized tour and captured the public eye. She was a “national superstar or music idol” long before the likes of Beyonce or Adele.

Johanna Maria “Jenny” Lind (6 October 1820 – 2 November 1887) was a Swedish opera singer, often called the “Swedish Nightingale”. One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe and undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of the United States beginning in 1850. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840.Ms. Lind was said to prefer the colonial-style spool beds during her hotel stays, and the notion stuck. The spool bed has been referred to as the Jenny Lind bed ever since.

Originally the spindles of these highly acclaimed beds were turned and crafted using a lathe operated by a foot pedal, which was a slow and laborious process. Can one just imagine how much effort and time went into crafting each bed?

Talk about an heirloom piece these are truly a work of artistic design, each one was crafted a foot pedal and then Steam power replaced the foot pedal in the later 1800s, making spool beds much easier to “mass” produce, if one can imagine such a thing in the later part of the 19th Century America. Mass production at that time meant about 1 to 5 a week produced with a team collaborating on their creation from crafting the spindles to staining the final bed frame produced.

Dating and Placing spool-turned Jinny Lind beds

The earliest spool-turned beds have long straight lengths of turnings because that was initially the easiest style to produce

1830 – headboards and footboards about the same height

1850s – spool-turned furniture was made with rounded corners because spool-turners developed a method of bending the spool turnings.

These bed headboards and frames showcased and available for the fine collector of antiques and fine arts at Roadrunner Emporium is believed to be dated from the late 1880’s and was submitted to us from an estate collection of 2 bed frames

.Rope Beds

The second unique bed frame being offered is a Rope Bed of similar caliber also of a fine estate collection

.In the 1800s and mattresses were held on bed frames using a woven rope design. These ropes needed frequent tightening to ensure a taut, firm mattress for a good night’s sleep. Hence, the phrase “sleep tight” was born.

The mattresses were often stuffed using straw, shredded corn husks, or down feathers. These materials attracted bed begs, and so over time it became a common phrase to say “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Rope beds were invented in the 16th century and fell out of fashion quickly after the invention of the coil spring mattress in 1865. The history of rope beds is so iconic that even the American Girl Doll Collection crafted a rope bed as a part of their American Girl Doll House furnishings collection.

The Rope Dollhouse Bed (also known as Addy’s Bed) was introduced to Addy’s Collection in 1993. Retail cost was $48. It was combined with the Family Album Quilt in 2011 to form Addy’s Bed and Bedding.

Antique Rope beds are unique finds and very rare to find with all the pieces intact. The unique offering found at Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More is a true gem in that all of the pieces are intact- headboard, side walls and all of the posts. The wood is dry and aged but for a heritage selection with a little love and care this unique offering is a true gem.

These two unique heritage piece offerings are available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. Profits from the sale of these two heritage items go to Alamogordo’s historic Owens Chapel A.M.E.


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