Loading Spinner

Antique Beds

Antique beds make a dramatic statement in modern homes. From luxurious Louis XVI designs to classic iron beds, this furniture features artisan craftsmanship that is virtually non-existent in the 21st century.

Most antique beds available today were built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They are crafted from hardwoods such as burl walnut, oak, and cherry, and often feature tall headboards with ornate carving and woodworking.

Tester beds, which included a solid panel above the bed held by four tall posts, accommodated curtains and elaborate fabric drapes that were common in the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the 19th century, most beds were located in the parlor, so drapes were used to add privacy and warmth. Homeowners often hired decorators to design the bed dressings that expressed their social status.

Wooden beds were first manufactured in the late 19th century, leading to fewer intricate details. Iron and brass beds also became popular during this time. Iron workers casted each bed individually, polished the castings and then hand-applied the finish.


Quick Facts

  • The production of iron beds stopped during World War I so that the iron could be redirected toward the war effort
  • Renaissance beds feature holes in the frame to hold ropes that made up the bed’s platform
  • The Great Bed of Ware, built in 1580 and housed today in the Victoria and Albert Museum, could easily sleep 15 people

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
Antique walnut cradle
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique walnut cradle
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$250 Bids
ANTIQUE RARE DESIGNER ITALIAN BED
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE RARE DESIGNER ITALIAN BED
by Intervendue
Est: $17,000- $20,000
$2,2000 Bids
LETTO IN LEGNO SCOLPITO E PATINATO, XIX-XX SECOLO
May 29, 2:45 PM CEST
LETTO IN LEGNO SCOLPITO E PATINATO, XIX-XX SECOLO
by Wannenes Art Auctions
Est: €1,500- €1,600
€1,5000 Bids
D.Maria rosewood couple's bed
May 23, 8:00 PM WEST
D.Maria rosewood couple's bed
by Marques dos Santos
Est: €300- €400
€2000 Bids
Antique Jenny Lind Hired Mans Bed
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Antique Jenny Lind Hired Mans Bed
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $75- $100
$250 Bids
ANTIQUE RENAISSANCE VICTORIAN FULL SIZE BED
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE RENAISSANCE VICTORIAN FULL SIZE BED
by Intervendue
Est: $3,900- $6,000
$5000 Bids
Bed with gilded wooden headboard and painted center, 18th century
May 25, 5:00 PM CEST
Bed with gilded wooden headboard and painted center, 18th century
by ArtLaRosa
Est: €0- €0
€1,0000 Bids
1870s Three Piece Walnut Victorian Marble Top Bedroom Set
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
1870s Three Piece Walnut Victorian Marble Top Bedroom Set
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$250 Bids
Hooded Blue Cradle
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Hooded Blue Cradle
by New England Auctions
Est: $250- $500
$500 Bids
Pair of inlaid D. Jose / D. Maria beds
May 23, 8:00 PM WEST
Pair of inlaid D. Jose / D. Maria beds
by Marques dos Santos
Est: €900- €1,200
€6000 Bids
LETTO IN LEGNO INTAGLIATO E DORATO, FRANCIA, XIX-XX SECOLO
May 29, 2:45 PM CEST
LETTO IN LEGNO INTAGLIATO E DORATO, FRANCIA, XIX-XX SECOLO
by Wannenes Art Auctions
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
19th C. French Empire Daybed
Jun 06, 12:00 PM EDT
19th C. French Empire Daybed
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
[FURNITURE]. [CAMPAIGN BED]. Empire Portable “Lit en Bateau...
May 23, 10:00 AM CDT
[FURNITURE]. [CAMPAIGN BED]. Empire Portable “Lit en Bateau...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $15,000- $25,000
$7,5000 Bids
EARLY 19TH C. PA PAINT DECORATED BED.
May 29, 10:00 AM EDT
EARLY 19TH C. PA PAINT DECORATED BED.
by William Smith Auctions
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5000 Bids
PAIR OF CARVED MAHOGANY TWIN BEDS
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
PAIR OF CARVED MAHOGANY TWIN BEDS
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE GILT-METAL MOUNTED MAHOGANY ALCOVE BED
Jun 08, 10:00 AM CDT
FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE GILT-METAL MOUNTED MAHOGANY ALCOVE BED
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $800
$4000 Bids
A four-poster field bed
Jun 03, 6:00 PM WEST
A four-poster field bed
by Cabral Moncada Leilões
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€2,0000 Bids
A chest convertible into a four-poster field bed
Jun 03, 6:00 PM WEST
A chest convertible into a four-poster field bed
by Cabral Moncada Leilões
Est: €6,000- €9,000
€6,0000 Bids
19th Century American Victorian Carved Walnut Bed
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
19th Century American Victorian Carved Walnut Bed
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$250 Bids
A cast iron daybed,
Jun 12, 10:00 AM BST
A cast iron daybed,
by Sworders
Est: £300- £500
£2400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Antique Beds


Nye & Company

Nye & Company

Marques dos Santos

Marques dos Santos

Akiba Galleries

Akiba Galleries

Cabral Moncada Leilões

Cabral Moncada Leilões