Following the Revolution, Americans took inspiration from the ancient empires of Greece and Rome in the establishment of a democratic republic. In turn, domestic interiors and furnishings began to resemble architecture and artifacts from classical antiquity. This bed’s sweeping frame echoes the form of a Roman lectus (daybed) and the bronze plaque at the base bears the profile of a Roman magistrate or military officer. The work is the only signed piece produced by Lannuier, one of New York’s leading furniture makers, and his Parisian cousin, Cochois, who worked briefly in New York between 1804 and 1808. The reproduction upholstery and hangings are based on models popularized by French designers Pierre de La Mésangère, Charles Percier, and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed (with two printed bilingual labels, one inside head rail and one inside foot rail): HONORE LANNIUER [sic] / CABINET MAKER, / (FROM PARIS) / Keeps his Ware-house and Manufactory / AND CABINET WARE OF THE / NEWEST FASHION, / AT No. 60 BROAD-STREET. / HONORE LANNIUER [sic] / EBENISTE / (DE PARIS) / LIENT SON MAGASIN / DE MEUBLES, LE PLUS / A-LA-MODE, / BROAD-STREET No. 60 / NEW-YORK.; (with two estampilles, each four times, once on each of four corner blocks inside frame): J.B. COCHOIS / H. LANNUIER / New York.
By tradition, this bedstead is said to have belonged to Alfred Seton (1793-1859), who married Frances Barnewall in 1819; Mrs. George Sommaripa, New York, until 1978; to Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1978; Trump & Co., Flourtown, Pennsylvania, until 1984; to Sotheby's, New York, 1984; Gloria and Richard Manney, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, until 1998; Elizabeth and Peter Feld.