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A 1600's Captain's 4 Poster Bed
1600's Oak 4 Poster Bed
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Family Heirloom - From Tall Ship in the 1600's to Australia via England

My family and I have been doing quite a lot of reminiscing lately; telling old family stories and remembering our loved ones. There is one particular story I would like to share about an antique Oak 4 poster bed that has been in my family for three generations. Between my three siblings (I was too young to recall any of this) we have patched together the history of my eldest sister's 4 poster bed she has in her guest room in Perth, Australia.

It was crafted in England sometime in the mid 1600's and spent it's first life as a Captain's bed aboard a tall ship. The bed is quite short in length, believed to be due to the cramped quarters it originally lived in. Upon retirement from the British Navy, the bed was handed down to the family of friends of my grandparents, and then gifted to them. The bed ultimately ended up in my maternal grandparent's home, Rugby House, in Rugby, England, where it stayed until it was handed down to my mother, Marnie.

When my eldest sister Judy was born, it was declared to be hers, and the family always referred to it as Judy's bed. But this 4 poster scared the pants off of her! She was convinced something called The Muns lived under the bed and that they would try to grab her when she tried to get into bed. She quaked every night at bedtime and begged to be read stories for as long as possible, so our father would be in her room as protection from The Muns. As with many childhood fears, time passes and we move on, but it certainly didn't stop Judy from making us younger siblings afraid of her bed and The Muns as well!

Judy moved to Perth, Australia over 35 years ago, and with her went the bed. Years passed and, in turn, it was given to her daughter, Siobhan. Interestingly, Siobhan was just as petrified of the bed as her mother! She, too, felt there was something scary lurking beneath it and would not sleep in it; therefore, it has been in the guest room of the Perth house all these years.

Judy sent these photos recently, and I marveled at how beautiful the bed is. The gorgeous patina of the Oak, the stunning fluted and reeded pilasters and the nicely turned posts. I would love to reproduce this 4 poster with all the details shown, but this time with normal queen or king dimensions. Give me a call and lets create something beautiful that will NOT scare the kids. Muns definitely not included!

Headboard detail showing fluted/reeded pilasters and raised panels.
Beautiful turned and chamfered posts.