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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
I H (British, mid–late 17th century)
Date: 1675–76Accession Number: 68.141.152a, b, .153a, b
Attributed to Thomas Roberts (active 1685–1714)
Date: ca. 1700Accession Number: 1998.297.1
Date: ca. 1698Accession Number: 68.217.1a
Date: ca. 1700Accession Number: 66.64.15
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Covered in sumptuous fabric and trimmings, a state bed was the most expensive piece of furniture to grace a seventeenth-century English country house. Several craftsmen, from wood carvers to upholsterers, collaborated when making these elaborate status symbols that were usually intended for the use of visiting royalty. To create a unified effect, the chairs, stools, and other furniture in the room were often upholstered to match the bed. Featuring a trailing leaf pattern, the fragile silk damask shown here was partially replaced with modern fabric so that it could be safely displayed. Thomas, Baron of Coningsby, commissioned the bed about 1698 for his residence at Hampton Court in Herefordshire (on the Welsh border), along with one covered in red damask intended for the use of King William III (1650–1702).
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