Hand Carved Headboard Mystery??

kjbray5July 24, 2012

We just picked up this amazing headboard at a garage sale for $30. The owner wasn't able to tell us anything about it so we are very curious about it's history. There are no markings on the piece, and the rest of the bed is missing. It is very heavy and appears to be all hand carved. The flower detail in the middle of the headboard spins. Does anyone have any information as to how old it could be and possibly where it originated from? Thanks for the help!

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It's the headboard from a Victorian bed....dating about 1880....likely walnut...but perhaps it was "cottage furniture" and simply stained to look like walnut.
Either way it will be wonderful stripped and re stained.
What a shame that someone painted it and lost the rest of it.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:00AM
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The legs have also been cut from this part of the unit. Notice how low the slots are to accomodate frame. It would put the mattress practically on the floor.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Linda, doesn't the detail look more French than Victorian? The reason I'm asking is because I've been restaining what is supposedly an old French Buffet I purchased at a very reliable auction house and it has the exact "French pediment" detailing, and was auctioned off as French. My buffet is a dark stained oak. Possibility/no possibility?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:05AM
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That design is so typically American Victorian....I really don't think so.
As for your buffet.....remember an auctioneer will say mostly anything to sell an item. There are certain buzz words that get repeated over and over....words like "French pediment" "barley twist" "Capo di monte" "Nippon" and "Sheffield".
My guess is that your buffet had a pediment that was called "French pediment"....and it just went on from there.
also your bed probably had some sort of finial on those square posts on either side of the carved pediment.

You sure your buffet is oak not walnut?....And that pediment style was not restricted to Americans, the French used it too....but not typically. However black walnut furniture is pretty much an American thing.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Beautiful headboard. I have found headboards in the past that were missing the rails and the foot-board and made them into benches. This one has good potential for that if done correctly. Just a thought :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:43PM
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