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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Named medieval furniture

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
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          --- 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 4 of 24 , Jun 6, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            >
            > 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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

                    ____________________________________________________________

                    Get
                    Free Email with Video Mail Video Chat!







































                  • Bobby Bourgoin
                    There is also the neat bed in a box, somewhere on the site for this group. Bobby _____ From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                    Message 9 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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