Dating antique furniture legs

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Ornamental and stylish yet affordable, spool furniture was a natural fit for the Gothic and picturesque cottages popularized in the 1840s.

Ever since, painted spool furniture has been identified as Cottage Style, particularly the beds.Henkels placed a special bed—actually, a carved Rococo piece with a side canopy—in Lind’s hotel, and later gave it to her as a gift or, in a divergent ending, vowed to name it after her.A second story centers on a common, early 19th-century mahogany spool bed donated in 1969 to the Geneva (New York) Historical Society.By 1876, factories making spool beds had applied the style to ottomans, footstools, and the étagère or whatnot shelf, typically made of black walnut, maple, birch, oak, or other native hardwood, and occasionally mahogany. during her wildly popular concert tour, presenting an opportunity for furniture makers to claim that P. Barnum’s Swedish Nightingale rested in one of their beds.The beds, originally angular, had evolved into three main types: the original style with head- and footboards having horizontal and vertical turned rails; a variation with a triangular (arched) headboard topped by a spool-turned edge; and the common variation that became associated with Jenny Lind, in which vertical posts are surmounted by curved connectors that join it to a spooled top rail. Guillaume romanticizes the surrender that ended the Civil War by placing both Robert E. Grant at the spool-turned table used by Grant at Appomattox Court House. Celebrity endorsements—sanctioned or not—had been found to boost sales, and 19th-century entrepreneurs had little aversion to stretching the truth.

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