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The Gothic revival bedstead from Rosedown plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is one of the greatest expressions of the Gothic revival style in American furniture known to exist. It stands not only as a work of great craftsmanship but as a powerful symbol of the political and social aspirations of the era. The bedstead was commissioned in 1844 by a group of Whig Party supporters as part of a suite of bedroom furniture destined for the White House with Henry Clay had he won the election that year. When Clay lost, his good friend Daniel Turnbull, a wealthy Louisiana cotton planter, purchased the set and brought it to his plantation in St. Francisville on the Mississippi River. Made in Philadelphia by Crawford Riddell (d. 1849), the bedstead is the most imposing and highly carved piece in the suite, which originally consisted of a dressing bureau, a double-door armoire, a cheval mirror, two marble-top washstands, an octagon table, and six side chairs.

Details

  • Title: Bed
  • Date Created: c. 1844
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 159 x 89 x 105 in. (4 m 3.86 cm x 2 m 26.06 cm x 2 m 66.7 cm)
  • Type: Furnishings
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/5322177/
  • Medium: Brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

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