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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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TESTIERA DI LETTO XIX SECOLO - HEADBOARD 19TH CENTURY
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
TESTIERA DI LETTO XIX SECOLO - HEADBOARD 19TH CENTURY
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€5000 Bids
COPPIA DI PIEDI DI LETTO INIZI DEL XX SECOLO - PAIR OF BED FOOTBOARDS EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
COPPIA DI PIEDI DI LETTO INIZI DEL XX SECOLO - PAIR OF BED FOOTBOARDS EARLY 20TH CENTURY
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
LETTO CON BALDACCHINO - BALDAQUIN BED
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
LETTO CON BALDACCHINO - BALDAQUIN BED
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€6000 Bids
LETTO XIX-XX SECOLO - BED 19TH-20TH CENTURY
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
LETTO XIX-XX SECOLO - BED 19TH-20TH CENTURY
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
18TH C. PROVINCIAL LOUIS XV WALNUT DAY BED
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
18TH C. PROVINCIAL LOUIS XV WALNUT DAY BED
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
PAINTED CARVED LOUIZ XVI STYLE TWIN BED C 1950
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
PAINTED CARVED LOUIZ XVI STYLE TWIN BED C 1950
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$3000 Bids
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LARGE FRENCH CARVED KINGSIZED BED
Oct 21, 7:00 PM IST
LARGE FRENCH CARVED KINGSIZED BED
by Sheppards
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€9000 Bids
William Hogarth (After): A Harlot's Progress, Plate 3
Oct 21, 12:00 PM EDT
William Hogarth (After): A Harlot's Progress, Plate 3
by 500 Gallery
Est: $600- $900
$2000 Bids
Fine Pair Louis XV Style Bronze Mounted Marquetry Bedsteads
Oct 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Fine Pair Louis XV Style Bronze Mounted Marquetry Bedsteads
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
LETTO - BED
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
LETTO - BED
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€6000 Bids
LETTO A BALDACCHINO XX SECOLO - BALDAQUIN BED 20TH CENTURY
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
LETTO A BALDACCHINO XX SECOLO - BALDAQUIN BED 20TH CENTURY
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€2,0000 Bids
PAINTED CARVED LOUIS QUEEN BED MANNER JANSEN C195
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
PAINTED CARVED LOUIS QUEEN BED MANNER JANSEN C195
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $900
$6000 Bids
PAINTED FRENCH LOUIS XVI STYLE FULL BED CIRCA 192
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
PAINTED FRENCH LOUIS XVI STYLE FULL BED CIRCA 192
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$6000 Bids
CUSTOM ITALIAN LEATHER KING BED WITH FAMILY CREST
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
CUSTOM ITALIAN LEATHER KING BED WITH FAMILY CREST
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $900
$6000 Bids
GILTWOOD QUEEN BED LOUIS XVI STYLE CIRCA 1930
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
GILTWOOD QUEEN BED LOUIS XVI STYLE CIRCA 1930
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$5500 Bids
19TH C. FRENCH EMPIRE CROTCH MAHOGANY DAY BED
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
19TH C. FRENCH EMPIRE CROTCH MAHOGANY DAY BED
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$7000 Bids
TAIRONA FIGURE TUMBAGA
Oct 30, 3:00 PM EDT
TAIRONA FIGURE TUMBAGA
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $250- $500
$500 Bids
Albert Hertel (1843-1912) (att
Nov 08, 10:00 AM CET
Albert Hertel (1843-1912) (att
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€600 Bids
BRASS AND RATTAN ITALIAN QUEEN BED C 1960
Oct 26, 11:00 AM EDT
BRASS AND RATTAN ITALIAN QUEEN BED C 1960
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$6000 Bids
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE WALNUT BED
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE WALNUT BED
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$3500 Bids
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE UPHOLSTERED WALNUT BED
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE UPHOLSTERED WALNUT BED
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
Lot 4 Biedermeier-watch chains, approx. 1830/40
Oct 28, 11:00 AM CEST
Lot 4 Biedermeier-watch chains, approx. 1830/40
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €160- €640
€1600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell European Beds


Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Kamelot Auctions

Kamelot Auctions

Aste Bolaffi

Aste Bolaffi

Piasa

Piasa