Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776: Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners

By Esther Singleton | Go to book overview

V
BEDS, CHAIRS, TABLES AND CLOCKS

THE bed was, of course, the most important piece of furniture in the bedroom. Almost invariably, it was a tall and wide four-poster of mahogany, more or less richly carved. But the framework, handsome as it might be, and even if crowned by a carved tester, was comparatively unimportant when the furnishings are remembered. A large feather bed, weighing many pounds and stuffed with the softest feathers, rested upon a simple arrangement of bed- cords, or a "sacking-bottom,"--a kind of heavy sail- cloth from which the word "bed-bunt" was probably derived. "Bed-bunts" were imported and were usually 6 x 4 ft. and 9 x 4 ft., which shows the average size of the bed.

The sheeting usually came from Holland, and was known as "ozenbrigs;" the blankets were "striped," "rose," or "swanskin" and the spreads, or "sprees," early in the century were "white cotton bed carpets," but they were supplanted later by "white flowered counterpains." Marseilles quilts came in about 1772. India chintz counterpanes were also used in 1768, and scarlet, blue, flowered, and black figured "drawboys" in 1771. A silk quilt, or a Turkey quilt, was usually folded neatly and laid across the foot of the bed. The bolster and pillows, stuffed with softest feathers,

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