Preconceived Male Opinions of Iron Beds

 

When you think about iron beds, what’s the initial thing that will come to mind? Well if your a women, it’s most likely something like “elegant” , “attractive”, “romantic”, …………if you’re a man, it’s probably “girlie”, “feminine”. It’s a preconceived thought most people have of those stunning old antique iron beds that graced the bedrooms of Victorian homes and estates alike, throughout the 1800’s.

The thing that clearly helps determine a persons initial opinion of one of these old metal beds, is it’s “finish” or “color”……. even more so than the form and the style. I’ve had beds that were incredibly elaborate and scrolled, yet had old black iron finishes on them and they appealed to men without a question. Yet when the same beds had been painted in a white or some gentle pastel with a crackle finish, most men would then considered them to be too feminine.

Conversely, I’ve had beds that were very straight and geometric with a very heavy tube masculine look, that we refinished in white or pastels……..and then took on a very feminine look.

When a man considers the use of antique iron beds as being too feminine, they’re not realizing that the bulk of our population, back in the 1800′s, were sleeping in them. Families were raised in them.

The “visual” has usually been our initial way of judging anything. It’s not till you get to know the internal workings of how something is made, can it really be appreciated and understood. So is the case with iron beds. You would think a big brawnie coal miner from Pennsylvania would never sleep in a thin gauge basic bed with modest corner brass finials. But that, quite frequently was the case. Why?……. Because back in the 1800′s there were two things that came into play that would have seen such a pairing very common. The first was that iron beds, quite often were not seen as a ornamental piece of furniture as they are nowadays. Back at that period they were seen simply as a utilitarian item to elevate and hold the mattress. The second thing that came into play was the manner in which the decorating of a home, and particularly that of the bedroom was never ever a concern of the man. That was strictly delegated to the wife or woman of the family. In the 1800′s such things as interior design were considered something a woman knew more about and were chauvinistically considered  to be the women’s “work” in a household. So it wasn’t uncommon for the decorative nature of what would be considered quite feminine to pervade a home with men. It wouldn’t be until the 1900′s that men would start becoming interested in such things, quite often the domain of their wives. The phrase “getting in touch with his feminine side” was not something heard back in the 1800′s. Such a school of thought and belief would not readilty be recognized until the 1900′s.

 


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