George Washington's campaign furniture, like that of his English officer counterparts, not only provided him the comforts of home while in the field of war, but attested to his rank and distinction. In October 1775, shortly after assuming command of the Continental Army, he acquired "a Field Bedstead & Curtains, Mattresses, Blankets etc. etc." Designed for portability and durability, this bedstead's tapering posts, turned legs, and rails are ingeniously hinged so it can be folded into a compact bundle for easy transport.
Field bedstead with four, identically turned posts, a rectangular headboard (replaced), and rabbeted rails. Head- and footposts are hinged in two places, so that the tapering, uncarved posts with swelled knob tops and the circular, tapered legs on tall, incurved, circular feet fold over the end rails. Side rails with iron hinges at their centers that fold inwards; a hinged, square, tapered leg (replacement) is attached at each joint for support. Iron hooks secure bedstead in open position.
Alternate names for this form include: folding bedstead, camp bedstead, tent bedstead.
Beech (throughout), red oak (replaced proper left leg at head), mahogany (later headboard), poplar, maple (replaced tester and lath), iron, brass
Overall (Folded H x W x D): 11 in. × 8 in. × 36 in. (27.94 cm × 20.32 cm × 91.44 cm)
Overall (Standing H x W x D): 48 in. × 36 in. × 72 in. (121.92 cm × 91.44 cm × 182.88 cm)
Gift of Birdie Washington in memory of Mrs. N.D.B. Washington, 1921
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon and the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC
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