There is something about spool beds that is so compelling and interesting. I think it’s the combination of intricate craftsmanship and the sense of nostalgia that they inspire. And that it’s just good design. They have been around for hundreds of years and they actually have an interesting history.
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. Here is Abe Lincoln’s bed at the Chicago History Museum.
They became popular again in the 1800’s and steam power technology led to mass production. You will often hear of these beds referred to as Jenny Lind beds. Jenny Lind was a famous Swedish opera singer, that inspired the 3 of Hans Christian Anderson’s books after he fell in love with her, one of which was “The Nightingale”. Nicknamed “The Swedish Nightingale”, Jenny Lind quickly became the “it” girl in America during a tour across the US in 1850. She favored the spool beds, and people started referring to them as “Jenny Linds”.
I found a lot of info over on Design Sponge about the history, here is the article if you would like to read more about it.
Here are some examples of the beds in fabulous rooms.
The thing about these beds is that the best ones are usually unique antiques that are difficult to find. If you do not have time to go antique hunting, here are a few that are available for purchase.
This one is also available here.
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