seeking info on a caned and carved bed & dresser set

redpoppy215November 23, 2009

When my parents bought their home in the mid-1970's, this bedroom set was left behind by the previous owner. My parents used it in a spare bedroom for some time, then gave it to me 10 years ago. I took it to the east coast with me, then brought it back with me when I moved back to my hometown. It's moved with me in and out of multiple 2nd and 3rd floor apartments, and I can attest that it's not light - not light at all. My furniture and I have settled down now in a historic neighborhood in a 1928 home. I'd love to know something more about the history of this set, what it's worth, etc.

In an online search, I've come across a few beds that look similar, but nothing exactly like it. I've seen "French", "corbeille", and "demi corbeille" used in the descriptions of some of these beds - what would you call this style?

The headboard damage, paint discolorations, and chips here and there have all been a part of this set for a long time.

Here's the bed, and I'll post the dresser below it (the bed is usually much more attractively made up, but I pulled the pillows off so you could see the headboard):

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redpoppy215

and here's the dresser:

detail at top of mirror:

carved detail on front of dresser:

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:59AM
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sweeby

Oh my! That looks to me like a lovely antique set that was 'cottage painted' back in the 1960's or so... I suspect that painting destroyed a lot of the antique value, but it's charming in a shabby chic way.

However I'm not the antiques expert here, so I'll watch to see what they say.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:42AM
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redpoppy215

So you think originally it would have had a wood finish? Looks like the whole set has been painted at least twice - at least there seems to be another layer of a cream paint under the top layer.

Also, at one time the embellishments were painted. One both the dresser and bed, there are little hints of red and pink peeking through on the petals, slights bits of blue on the ribbons, and evidence of green on the leaves.

Thanks for the response, sweeby!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:01PM
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deadpoetnj

I don't have an answer, but I do have a comment. Your bed and dresser are VERY nice. I am not usually into anything even slightly ornate, but there is something about it. The bed is especially nice. I hope someone can help provide information about it. Good luck with your search for answers.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 4:40PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

All of the applied ornament looks to me like it's made of composition (compo for short) a mix of wood flour, a filler, and glue pressed into a mold. I'm guessing that it was painted originally. Compo ornament can also be stained, although not convincingly unless grain lines are painted on. It's a leathery dull brownish color naturally. Compo is very difficult to strip because it's sensitive to heat and all chemicals, especially water.
Casey

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 5:29PM
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sweeby

I have to agree with DeadPoet -- That's certainly not my style -- but there's a certain quality to the design that makes me really like this particular set. In other words -- I really like this one. But if I set out to find one like it, the overwhelming majority of sets other people think are 'similar' would probably make me want to gag. But this set works.

I did notice the under layer of paint -- And I guess it's possible it was painted originally. Why not?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 6:59PM
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yborgal

This looks similar to my bedroom set from around 1955. My set was cream colored and the decorative basket was a pale green with pink and blue flowers. I had twin beds, though, plus a night stand and the dresser.

You're right; it's very heavy furniture.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 8:43PM
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lindac

It's a very lovely turn of the century demi corbeille bed with matching dresser.
Most likely was originally painted a cream, I think the pink on the flowers was added.
It has obviously been repainted.
From what I have seen, I think the original was a cream....and someone added the pink and someone else added the present off white.
It's very very nice!!! I wish it had not been painted....but even it it's present state is a great set.
This is where "Chabby Chic" originated....
Don't let anyone talk you intos tripping and refinishign it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:33PM
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redpoppy215

Thank you all for the responses and nice comments! I admit that I never paid much attention to this set while growing up, but I've really come to appreciate it over the past 10 years - and not just because it's all I've had to sleep on. =)

So, Linda, you would guess this set to be about 100 years old, then? And, about it being a demi corbeille bed - most of the beds i've seen marked "corbeille" are upholstered. Are non-upholstered corbeille beds less common? What would make it "demi corbeille" as opposed to "corbeille"?

A couple other questions for those with more furniture knowledge than me (not hard to do): I've seen somewhat similar sets called "French". Does that mean this would have been made in France, or is it a reproduction of a French style?

Would it be accurate to call this Louis XVI style? i see a lot of similarities to, say

Or perhaps Directoire style? I see some similarities there, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: This bed has some of the same details, and is described as being Louis XVI, and made in 1910.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 8:21PM
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