What's the story on this CL walnut bed?

riosambaMay 23, 2010

We bought this bed for a pittance yesterday from a CL seller (these are the photos from his ad). It's condition is only fair, but it is just right as a bed for a younger child who appreciates nice old things but sometimes doesn't care for them properly.

The trim pieces have variations in size from piece to piece. There is a sort of lever mechanism that holds the side boards to the headboard and footboard which is stamped with either first initial "C" or "D" followed by "Robinson Rochester NY" Next line "Pat Dec 28 1858."

In googling around, I see that there was a Charles Robinson who was making furniture in Rochester in the 1880s.

I'm curious as to the likely age of the bed? My thanks in advance to any of you experts who take the time to answer:)

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lindac

I think 1880's is a likely guess. I think it's a great piece. What's wrong with the condition? Looks good from the pics.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 3:41PM
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riosamba

Linda, thanks for your reply. I say fair because it has some dings that aren't really visible in the photos- nothing horrible, a few paint drips, etc. Perhaps I should call it good rather than fair. I'm very pleased with it!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 6:32PM
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lindac

Is that piece of wood on the head board...between the curved top and the bottom...one solid piece of wood?...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 7:24PM
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riosamba

There are three pieces of wood from the top of the headboard (and the footboard) to the bottom. The straight line under the curve is the end of the first piece. If you look down from above you also see three pieces front to back- there are three ridges to the curve. The outer ridges appear to be from the same piece of wood. I will try to take some pictures tomorrow. I am probably not describing it very well!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:52PM
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palimpsest

Its nice, how is the mattress supported? Does it take a standard size mattress?

So many great beds are bargains these days because people don't even like to sleep in fulls anymore...its queens or bigger.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:24PM
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riosamba

Thanks, Pal, I like it too. The mattress is supported with slats. I think it is a little larger than a modern twin bed. If our twin mattress doesn't fit, we will have one made.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:33PM
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lindac

I thought it looked like a 3/4 bed...that's a nice size...hard to find fitted sheets....but....

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:07AM
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dilettante_gw

Very pretty! And it looks like it'd be easier to decorate around than many antique beds. (I have two Eastlake beds with high headboards, which make it difficult to arrange furniture without blocking windows -- explains why so many Eastlake headboards were cut down.)

From what I could find, your bed is earlier than the 1880's. Charles Robinson was active between 1854-1878, so it must have been made between 1858 (patent date) and 1878. Robinson was best-known as a chairmaker. The NY State Museum in Albany has some C. Robinson pieces in its "NY Furniture at the NY State Museum" exhibit. If you contact the exhibit curator (John Scherer), he should be able to tell you something about your bed, or at least tell you where you could find more information:

http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/staff/details.cfm?staffID=85

Also, you should be able to find some info in your local libary -- look for books about American furniture makers.

Here is a link that might be useful: C. Robinson chair in NY Furniture at the NY State Museum exhibit

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:04PM
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riosamba

Dilettante, thank you so much! I will email Mr. Scherer and post what I learn. It is such a pleasure to learn more about the bed.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 4:03PM
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dilettante_gw

You're welcome. If you find anything interesting, be sure to post it.

P.S. And congratulations on your terrific CL find!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 4:25PM
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palimpsest

I have a bed that is "antique size" --a 3/4 that is a little shorter at 72" rather than 75". I got a mattress and sheets through this site. The site is a little cheesy but the sheets are ok.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique and 3/4 sheets.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 10:47PM
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riosamba

I have not heard back from Mr. Scherer yet; I'm hoping that he is on vacation, or swamped just now, and that he will respond later. I'll also follow up on Dilletante's suggestion about furniture books at the library when I have a chance to get over there.

My little one has been sleeping in the bed for several nights and just loves it. The twin mattress works but (forgive the highly technical term;)requires a wee bit of longwise squidging. The width is perfect. I may have the mattress cut down and in that case would use sheet garters.

Pal, thanks for that site. I have filed it away for future reference.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:47AM
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