14516RE: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture
- Jun 6, 2011
One other reason I read for the wood or drapery roof on the bed was to keep the rats that fell of the (house) roof rafters from falling on the bed…
I don’t know how fact or fiction this is but… Like the people in the middle ages eat with there hands (for many this is fact, but we here all know this to be fiction), or that people in the middles ages didn’t wash (this is fiction and a mix up between medieval and renaissance, with the invention of perfumes, in the renaissance age people got lazy and stopped washing to cover-up with perfumes)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto: email@example.com ] On Behalf Of Gary Link
Sent: 5 juin 2011 22:08
Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture
On the examples I have seen and read about the propose of the draperies and paneling(they cover the top as well as the sides) on the beds is the same principle as a sleeping bag or small tent. It holds in the heat to make for a more comfortable sleep.
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 00:50:14 +0000
Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture
You can add "tester", "half-tester", and "canopy" but I am unsure if these were terms used in period or are modern terms for ancient designs.
One issue that I observed right away is that the terms we have been using fall into two categories: those that describe the method of supporting the mattress and those that describe the posts (and what the posts become above the level of the mattress).
I don't think you are likely to discover much past "rope" and "slat" as a means of supporting a mattress off of the ground. And the only difference between the two is the material used within the framework. Everything else is essentially the same: a wooden frame consisting of two parallel runners and a headboard and a footboard with posts at each intersection. The slat bed will have slat ledges along the runners whereas the rope bed will have holes drilled in the runners and head/footboards to accomodate the ropes.
I imagine many mattresses in poorer homes never made it off of the ground at all. Other mattresses (I'm thinking of cloistered monks and hermits here) may have been on ledges: wooden or stone shelves. I'm not sure when hammocks came into use in European culture, but the framed hammocks with mattresses that were used in age-of-sail vessels were quite comfortable, I understand.
The posts do not need to rise above the level of the mattress (or the levels of the head- and foot-boards if they are taller). But if they do, then they are variably described as four-posters, testers, half-testers, and canopy beds. A four-poster just has four tall posts. A tester bed has four light rails (testers) connecting the tops of the posts. Usually there is also one or two more light rails parallel to the headboard and connecting the two long testers part way along their length. In some very old examples there are panels within this framework, making a ceiling above the bed. A half-tester bed has this "ceiling" solely above the top third or half of the bed. A canopy bed replaces the wooden panels with heavy drapery. The point of the panels and drapes is, of course, to reduce drafts.
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