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European Beds

European beds have come a long way since the Middle Ages, when most ordinary people slept on hay or, if they were lucky, the floor of a castle’s great hall. Antique beds designed in Europe had great influence on American styles and continue to evolve today as style trends shift.

Before the 18th century, European beds were very expensive and as such often only available to royalty. Over time, wealthy homeowners began to have beds built. The bedroom was a public space in many homes, as such the bed was covered in drapery for privacy and to provide warmth.

Multiple mattresses and layers of bedding continued to be common among royalty and the wealthy well into the late 19th century, so luxury antique beds were crafted with metal foundations strong enough to hold several mattresses made from horsehair, straw, and feathers.

With the invention of coiled spring mattresses in the early 20th century, comfort became a priority in European beds. The advent of electricity added to the desire for comfort because the bedroom became a place to read and pursue hobbies.


Quick Facts

  • The Melville Bed, made in 1700 for the First Earl of Melville, features 85 meters of velvet, 114.5 meters of damask, and 62 meters of supporting linen and buckram
  • British contemporary artist Tracey Emin’s piece “My Bed” set a world record for the artist at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Evening sale when it sold for £2.546 million in 2014
  • Young kitchen servants in the 17th century were sometimes allowed to keep the feathers plucked from poultry for their marriage bed

Recommended Items at Auction

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Mies van der Rohe x Knoll "Barcelona" Daybed
May 05, 12:00 PM EDT
Mies van der Rohe x Knoll "Barcelona" Daybed
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,1004 Bids
FRENCH EMPIRE SLEIGH BED HAVING BRONZE MOUNTED COLUMNS
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH EMPIRE SLEIGH BED HAVING BRONZE MOUNTED COLUMNS
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Tommi Parzinger Headboard
Apr 25, 9:00 AM PDT
Tommi Parzinger Headboard
by Abell Auction
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Carved French Monumental Day Bed 48 1/2"H, 108 1/2"L(9 ft. 1/2 in.), 33 1/2"W / seat - 18"H
May 04, 9:00 AM CDT
Carved French Monumental Day Bed 48 1/2"H, 108 1/2"L(9 ft. 1/2 in.), 33 1/2"W / seat - 18"H
by Bright Star Antiques Co.
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
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Louis XVI Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Bedstead
May 04, 10:00 AM CDT
Louis XVI Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Bedstead
by J. Garrett Auctioneers
Est: $100- $25,000
$1001 Bid
Grange Cherrywood Sleigh Bed
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Grange Cherrywood Sleigh Bed
by Nye & Company
Est: $50- $25,000
$201 Bid
FRENCH MAHOGANY AND BRONZE MOUNTED DAYBED C 1840.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH MAHOGANY AND BRONZE MOUNTED DAYBED C 1840.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
FRENCH EMPIRE MAHOGANY BRONZE MOUNTED DAY BED C 1840.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH EMPIRE MAHOGANY BRONZE MOUNTED DAY BED C 1840.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY PAINTED DIRECTOIRE FRENCH DAYBED.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY PAINTED DIRECTOIRE FRENCH DAYBED.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
Martha van Coppenolle & Marcel Louis Baugniet, modernist bed-sofa, 1927
May 04, 11:00 AM CEST
Martha van Coppenolle & Marcel Louis Baugniet, modernist bed-sofa, 1927
by Kunst und Design Auktionshaus Schops Turowski
Est: €2,200- €3,300
€2,2000 Bids
A RATTAN DAYBED FRAME
Apr 24, 10:30 AM BST
A RATTAN DAYBED FRAME
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £250- £350
£1500 Bids
A French cast iron lit-en-bateau,
Apr 23, 9:30 AM BST
A French cast iron lit-en-bateau,
by Sworders
Est: £100- £150
£800 Bids
FRENCH CAST IRON POLYCHROMED DAY BED WITH HIGH RELIEF DETAILS C 1860. DISMANTLES FOR TRANSPORT.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH CAST IRON POLYCHROMED DAY BED WITH HIGH RELIEF DETAILS C 1860. DISMANTLES FOR TRANSPORT.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE SLEIGH BED UPHOLSTERED IN A PINK SILK LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE APPLIQUES.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE SLEIGH BED UPHOLSTERED IN A PINK SILK LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE APPLIQUES.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
FRENCH DAYBED ATTRIBUTED TO PAUL FOLLOT C 1925 HAVING FINELY CARVED DETAILS AND RECENT FABRIC.
Apr 24, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH DAYBED ATTRIBUTED TO PAUL FOLLOT C 1925 HAVING FINELY CARVED DETAILS AND RECENT FABRIC.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
Jacques Adnet, attribution, Daybed
Apr 25, 11:00 AM CDT
Jacques Adnet, attribution, Daybed
by Wright
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$2,6000 Bids
Ettore Sottsass, Galassia twin-size bed frame
Apr 25, 11:00 AM CDT
Ettore Sottsass, Galassia twin-size bed frame
by Wright
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$500 Bids
French wrought iron bed with flowering urns
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
French wrought iron bed with flowering urns
by King Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$3000 Bids
A Finnish 'AA1' chrome and leather daybed,
Apr 30, 10:00 AM BST
A Finnish 'AA1' chrome and leather daybed,
by Sworders
Est: £1,800- £2,200
£1,4000 Bids
POLTRONE
Apr 24, 2:30 PM CEST
POLTRONE
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €700- €800
€7000 Bids
POGGI
Apr 24, 2:30 PM CEST
POGGI
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €500- €550
€5000 Bids
LENCI FABIO
Apr 24, 2:30 PM CEST
LENCI FABIO
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €600- €700
€6000 Bids
PAINTED AND GILT LOUIS XV STYLE DAYBED C 1950 RECENTLY REUPHOLSTERED IN A BURLAP TYPE FABRIC.
Apr 25, 11:00 AM EDT
PAINTED AND GILT LOUIS XV STYLE DAYBED C 1950 RECENTLY REUPHOLSTERED IN A BURLAP TYPE FABRIC.
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$3500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell European Beds


Kamelot Auctions

Kamelot Auctions

Aste Boetto SRL

Aste Boetto SRL

Sworders

Sworders

Wright

Wright