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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture

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  • Graham Eyre
    Can t find any specific names for that era, but there is a lot of scope from slate type bed to a 4 poster   From: Sean Powell To:
    Message 1 of 24 , Jun 5, 2011
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      Can't find any specific names for that era, but there is a lot of scope from slate type bed to a 4 poster
       

      From: Sean Powell <powell.sean@...>
      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, 6 June 2011 11:05 AM
      Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture

      Hello,
          I'm doing research into a new camp bed and a thought has struck me.
      For medieval chairs I can say "Glastonbury", "Fauldstool", "Crulle" and
      a couple of other names and within certain parameters we all understand
      what shape, look and construction method is implied. When I look for
      beds I'm limited to "Oseberg", "Gokstad" and the generic terms of "Rope"
      or "Slat". Are there any other named beds, preferably from the 14th or
      15th cent that I am unaware of? Are they so abundant that we don't need
      names that are more detailed or are they simply so uninteresting that no
      one has named any since 900ad?
          Thanks,
              Sean


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    • camdus17@juno.com
      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
      Message 2 of 24 , Jun 5, 2011
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        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.

        --Dunstan M'Lolane

        ____________________________________________________________
        Get Free Email with Video Mail & Video Chat!

      • Gary Link
        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
        Message 3 of 24 , Jun 5, 2011
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          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.

          In Service
          Hal 


          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          From: camdus17@...
          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.
          --Dunstan M'Lolane
          ____________________________________________________________
          Get Free Email with Video Mail Video Chat!

        • Graham Eyre
          In days of old the houses were not exactly draft proof so the Curtains etc around a bed was to keep out the cold and drafts.   From: Gary Link
          Message 4 of 24 , Jun 5, 2011
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            In days of old the houses were not exactly draft proof so the Curtains etc around a bed was to keep out the cold and drafts.
             

            From: Gary Link <halraeburn@...>
            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, 6 June 2011 2:07 PM
            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.

            In Service
            Hal 

            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
            From: camdus17@...
            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.
            --Dunstan M'Lolane
            ____________________________________________________________
            Get Free Email with Video Mail Video Chat!





          • Bobby Bourgoin
            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
            Message 5 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
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              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)

               

              Bobby

               


              From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Gary Link
              Sent: 5 juin 2011 22:08
              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              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.

               

              In Service

              Hal 

               


              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              From: camdus17@...
              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.
              --Dunstan M'Lolane
              ____________________________________________________________
              Get Free Email with Video Mail Video Chat!

            • Julian Wilson
              ... 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…
              Message 6 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                --- On Mon, 6/6/11, Bobby Bourgoin <bobby.bourgoin@...> wrote:
                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…
                SNIPPED FOR BREVITY
                I don’t know how fact or fiction this is but…

                COMMENT
                Hmm - a bit too much generalisation there, Bobby.

                Middle Ages housing came in many "grades", and was " internally-finished" according to household income.
                 And  - built according to what local materials were available.
                So - in areas where timber and reed or straw  were scarce but stone, and slate or tiles were plentiful,- [e.g - Wales, Cornwall, the Midland's moorlands] instead of a fairly prosperous freeholder living in a timber-framed house with a thatched roof, and a puddled clay floor, - you would have found that freeholder living in a stone-built house, roofed with stone slabs, slates, or clay tiles, and with floors of encaustic tiles, or stone slabs. Simply because it was cheaper to use the local materials than to import them from miles away.
                With no Thatch to hide and nest in, there were far-fewer  vermin living in the roofs.

                One is on much-safer ground going with the "enclosed bed-space" warmed by body heat and protected against draughts.
                What you call "four-poster beds with curtains and testers" were expensive items - so expensive that they were bequeathed to relatives in Wills.the lower Classes could not afford curtained 4-poster beds.
                 The next social.income- level downwards were the "beds in cupboards or Wall recesses" - again, to keep the sleepers warm  from body heat and draught-exclusion.
                Even fisherfolk in Brittany [historically a very poor section of the working population who couldn't even afford straw or reeds for roofing, and used dried seaweed instead, ] - had such recessed or cupboard-enclosed beds. Surviving "cupboard beds" of whatever age, are now much-sought-after antiques in today's France.
                And at the other upper end of the social scale, nobles generally lived in many-storied residences built of masonry, and their personal  Chambers were mostly at least one level below the garrets. And the roofs of castles and fortified manor houses had non-flammable, impermeable coverings, -stone slabs, slates, sheets leading, or baked-clay roof-tiles such as the Romans had used; - with fewer places to harbour vermin such as rats and mice.

                The Weald & Downland Museum (Singleton, Sussex), Barley Hall (York); the Merchants House  (Southampton, Hampshie); and the 14th C. Tretower Court ( nr. Abergavenny, S. Wales) - are all good examples of the housing to which I refer.

                regards,
                 Matthewe Baker

                 


                 

                 









                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.



                 





                In Service





                Hal 



                 











                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com

                From:
                camdus17@...

                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.

                --Dunstan M'Lolane

                ____________________________________________________________

                Get
                Free Email with Video Mail Video Chat!








































              • maf@gleichen.ca
                ... I read that the first hammocks where brought to Europe from Barbados by Christopher Columbas and where not addopted by the British Navy until 1590 (the
                Message 7 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
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                  >
                  > 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.
                  >
                  > --Dunstan M'Lolane





                  I read that the first hammocks where brought to Europe from Barbados by
                  Christopher Columbas and where not addopted by the British Navy until
                  1590 (the canvas sling type became standad in 1597), prior to that they
                  used wooden bunks and injuries and fatalities from rolling out of your
                  bunk where common in the British Navy.

                  Mark
                • Broom
                  ... Rising damp would quickly mildew these mattresses, which were probably straw ticks (or the equivalent using other plant fibers), usually contained in cloth
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
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                    Dunstan M'Lolane wrote:
                    > I imagine many mattresses in poorer homes never made it off of the ground at all.

                    Rising damp would quickly mildew these mattresses, which were probably
                    straw ticks (or the equivalent using other plant fibers), usually
                    contained in cloth bags, so I suspect even the poorest tried to raise
                    their mattresses off the ground.

                    ' | Broom IAmBroom @ gmail . com
                    ' | cellphone: 412-389-1997
                    ' | 9370 Shadduck Rd, McKean, PA 16426
                    '\|/ "Discere et docere", which means:
                    '/|\ "The world is like a mirror, you see? Smile, and your friends
                    //|\\ smile back." - Japanese Zen saying
                  • Julian Wilson
                    Correct - that s where the truckle bed came from. These are simple bed-frames with rope suspensions and short legs, which raised the palliasse 4 to 6 inches
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Correct - that's where the "truckle bed" came from. These are simple bed-frames with rope suspensions and short legs, which raised the palliasse 4 to 6 inches off the ground,  usually designed to roll in under a "great bed".  The Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton, West Sussex, has several excellent replicas, drawn from extant examples in various Museum Collactions.
                      The poorest folk would likely make a kind of under-couch from bundles of dried ferns or long straw - or of something similar - which would provide a layer of insulation. The palliasses of the poor would likely be picked-up each morning and either put to "air" - or be rolled-up out of the way of the day's activities - especially in "one room" dwellings. And when the under-couch needed changing - it would go into the beasts' byres or the stable, as bedding/food.

                      In service,
                       Matthewe Baker

                      --- On Mon, 6/6/11, Broom <IAmBroom@...> wrote:

                      From: Broom <IAmBroom@...>
                      Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Named medieval furniture
                      To:
                      Cc: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Monday, 6 June, 2011, 15:39

                       

                      Dunstan M'Lolane wrote:
                      > I imagine many mattresses in poorer homes never made it off of the ground at all.

                      Rising damp would quickly mildew these mattresses, which were probably
                      straw ticks (or the equivalent using other plant fibers), usually
                      contained in cloth bags, so I suspect even the poorest tried to raise
                      their mattresses off the ground.

                      ' | Broom IAmBroom @ gmail . com
                      ' | cellphone: 412-389-1997
                      ' | 9370 Shadduck Rd, McKean, PA 16426
                      '\|/ "Discere et docere", which means:
                      '/|\ "The world is like a mirror, you see? Smile, and your friends
                      //|\\ smile back." - Japanese Zen saying

                    • tessa_rat
                      According to Victor Chinnery there are a number of references, in inventories and such, to folding or traveling beds. Unfortunately, due to hard use and
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
                      • 0 Attachment
                        According to Victor Chinnery there are a number of references, in inventories and such, to folding or traveling beds. Unfortunately, due to hard use and relatively light construction, none appear to have survived. What we are left with is household beds and viking burials.

                        One could interpret a traveling bed as simply a more lightly built version of a household bed (I've done several of these, or, and I personally think this is quite likely, a scissor folding "army" cot with a mechanism similar to a "Savanarola" or "Glastonbury" chair.

                        It's an area that I think deserves a bit of exploration and experimentation... Right... off to the shop with me. :~)

                        Fritz Wilhelm
                        welldressedtent.com

                        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Sean Powell <powell.sean@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hello,
                        > I'm doing research into a new camp bed and a thought has struck me.
                        > <<<snip>>>
                        > When I look for
                        > beds I'm limited to "Oseberg", "Gokstad" and the generic terms of "Rope"
                        > or "Slat". Are there any other named beds, preferably from the 14th or
                        > 15th cent that I am unaware of? Are they so abundant that we don't need
                        > names that are more detailed or are they simply so uninteresting that no
                        > one has named any since 900ad?
                        > Thanks,
                        > Sean
                        >
                      • Bobby Bourgoin
                        Of course. that is what I meant with the rest of the mail. fact or fiction (my thoughts, mostly fiction) Bobby _____ From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
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                          Of course… that is what I meant with the rest of the mail…  fact or fiction (my thoughts, mostly fiction)

                           

                          Bobby

                           


                          From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Julian Wilson
                          Sent: 6 juin 2011 09:16
                          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture

                           

                           

                          --- On Mon, 6/6/11, Bobby Bourgoin <bobby.bourgoin@...> wrote:
                          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…
                          SNIPPED FOR BREVITY
                          I don’t know how fact or fiction this is but…

                          COMMENT
                          Hmm - a bit too much generalisation there, Bobby.

                          Middle Ages housing came in many "grades", and was " internally-finished" according to household income.
                           And  - built according to what local materials were available.
                          So - in areas where timber and reed or straw  were scarce but stone, and slate or tiles were plentiful,- [e.g - Wales, Cornwall, the Midland's moorlands] instead of a fairly prosperous freeholder living in a timber-framed house with a thatched roof, and a puddled clay floor, - you would have found that freeholder living in a stone-built house, roofed with stone slabs, slates, or clay tiles, and with floors of encaustic tiles, or stone slabs. Simply because it was cheaper to use the local materials than to import them from miles away.
                          With no Thatch to hide and nest in, there were far-fewer  vermin living in the roofs.

                          One is on much-safer ground going with the "enclosed bed-space" warmed by body heat and protected against draughts.
                          What you call "four-poster beds with curtains and testers" were expensive items - so expensive that they were bequeathed to relatives in Wills.the lower Classes could not afford curtained 4-poster beds.
                           The next social.income- level downwards were the "beds in cupboards or Wall recesses" - again, to keep the sleepers warm  from body heat and draught-exclusion.
                          Even fisherfolk in Brittany [historically a very poor section of the working population who couldn't even afford straw or reeds for roofing, and used dried seaweed instead, ] - had such recessed or cupboard-enclosed beds. Surviving "cupboard beds" of whatever age, are now much-sought-after antiques in today's France .
                          And at the other upper end of the social scale, nobles generally lived in many-storied residences built of masonry, and their personal  Chambers were mostly at least one level below the garrets. And the roofs of castles and fortified manor houses had non-flammable, impermeable coverings, -stone slabs, slates, sheets leading, or baked-clay roof-tiles such as the Romans had used; - with fewer places to harbour vermin such as rats and mice.

                          The Weald & Downland Museum ( Singleton , Sussex ), Barley Hall ( York ); the Merchants House  (Southampton, Hampshie); and the 14th C. Tretower Court ( nr. Abergavenny, S. Wales ) - are all good examples of the housing to which I refer.

                          regards,
                           Matthewe Baker

                           


                           

                           









                          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.



                           





                          In Service





                          Hal 



                           











                          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com

                          From:
                          camdus17@...

                          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.

                          --Dunstan M'Lolane

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                        • Bobby Bourgoin
                          There is also the neat bed in a box, somewhere on the site for this group. Bobby _____ From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
                          • 0 Attachment

                            There is also the neat bed in a box, somewhere on the site for this group…

                             

                            Bobby

                             


                            From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of tessa_rat
                            Sent: 6 juin 2011 12:13
                            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Named medieval furniture

                             

                             

                            According to Victor Chinnery there are a number of references, in inventories and such, to folding or traveling beds. Unfortunately, due to hard use and relatively light construction, none appear to have survived. What we are left with is household beds and viking burials.

                            One could interpret a traveling bed as simply a more lightly built version of a household bed (I've done several of these, or, and I personally think this is quite likely, a scissor folding "army" cot with a mechanism similar to a "Savanarola" or "Glastonbury" chair.

                            It's an area that I think deserves a bit of exploration and experimentation... Right... off to the shop with me. :~)

                            Fritz Wilhelm
                            welldressedtent.com

                            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Sean Powell <powell.sean@...> wrote:

                            >
                            > Hello,
                            > I'm doing research into a new camp bed and a thought has struck me.
                            > <<<snip>>>
                            > When I look for
                            > beds I'm limited to "Oseberg", "Gokstad" and the
                            generic terms of "Rope"
                            > or "Slat". Are there any other named beds, preferably from the
                            14th or
                            > 15th cent that I am unaware of? Are they so abundant that we don't need
                            > names that are more detailed or are they simply so uninteresting that no
                            > one has named any since 900ad?
                            > Thanks,
                            > Sean
                            >

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