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State Bed probably made for George I circa 1715

Category

Textiles

Date

1715

Materials

wood, feather, wool, linen & silk

Measurements

4115 x 2135 mm; 2440 mm (L)

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Collection

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, Midlands, National Trust

NT 291768.1

Summary

State bed, probably made for George I circa 1715. The bed is made from hangings and drapes of Chinese embroidered dark blue and white silk. The embroidered dark blue silk lined with embroidered white silk. The silk and metal thread embroidery on the dark blue depicts processional figures, warriors on horseback, mandarins and lady's in brightly coloured robes, pagodas and buildings, dragons, birds, gazelles, birds and other animals. Trees with gold work trunks grow up the length of the 4 curtains with scrolling flowers and foliage; peacock feathers are tightly rolled for the knots of the tree trunks and the markings of the butterfly wings. Central panels of the curtains are enclosed by borders of scrolling, flowering foliage with lions and dragons. The white silk linings are similarly embroidered with scrolling foliage and flowers, butterflies, figures, ho-ho birds and pheasants. The counterpane is white silk with an enclosed border of foliage and birds. The lower valance is of dark blue embroidered silk as is the ruched outer top valance. The lower top valance is similarly ruched and of white embroidered silk. The stepped cornice of the tester is of wood covered in dark blue embroidered silk in the same colours as above, but of a different scale of design. The backcloth is composed of elaborately swagged, pleated and draped white and dark blue embroidered silk with puffed rosettes. The inner tester is similarly composed of dark blue embroidered pelmets with the tester cloth composed of white embroidered silk. The headboard is elaborately carved with acanthus and a central cartouche, again covered in the same dark blue and white embroidered silk. The tester is surmounted at the front corners by carved plume-like finials, again covered in white and dark blue silk.

Provenance

Thought to have been given as a wedding gift to Lady Caroline Manners on her marriage to Sir Henry Harpur in 1734. Lady Caroline had been a maid of honour at the wedding of Princess Anne, daughter of George II and Queen Caroline, to the Prince of Orange earlier the same year.

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