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Sleep Tight The £1,700 Folding Bed at Richard Winterton Auctioneers

A rare folding single bed has just totalled £1,700 at auction in Lichfield.

Folding BedLot 1546 is not however your average folding bed but a rare nineteenth century ‘Campaign’ bed.

‘Campaign’ furniture refers to articles of furniture made to break down or fold up to make it easier to move around on military campaigns, ie what we would call ‘portable’ today.

Although used since the time of Julius Caesar, the term is more often associated with furniture made during the expansion of the British Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Army Officers. Campaign chairs and chests turn up frequently at auction and the latter are characterised by breaking down into two sections and have brass caps on the corners and flush handles for ease of use.

Beds turn up less frequently and one such example dating from the first half of the nineteenth century turned up at Richard Winterton’s Auction last Thursday, (20th November). Bearing a plaque reading ‘Butler’s Patent, London’, it is made of solid mahogany and ingeniously collapses to form a low table. It could be described as metamorphic. The retractable high back and curved sides would have kept the occupant free of draughts and the fold-out base incorporates slats to hold the mattress.

Surpassing the £500 pre-sale estimate, if it could talk we are sure this bed would have a lot to say. Think of all the exotic locations it may have visited and the campaigns it would have played a part in. It was purchased by an anonymous UK telephone bidder.

The next-three day Antiques, Home & Interiors Auction is 16th to 18th December and final entries are now being invited. Contact Richard Winterton Auctioneers for further details on 01543 251081 or visit: