Crawford Riddell ( American, 1837 - 1849 )

c. 1844
more object details

General Description

The Gothic Revival bedstead from Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is one of the greatest expressions of the Gothic Revival style in American furniture known to exist. It stands not only as a work of great craftsmanship but also as a powerful symbol of the political and social aspirations of the era. The bedstead was commissioned in 1844 by a group of Whig Party supporters as part of a suite of bedroom furniture destined for the White House with Henry Clay had he won the election that year. When Clay lost, his good friend Daniel Turnbull, a wealthy Louisiana cotton planter, purchased the set and brought it to his plantation in St. Francisville on the Mississippi River. Made in Philadelphia by Crawford Riddell (d. 1849), the bedstead is the most imposing and highly carved piece in the suite, which originally consisted of a dressing bureau, a double-door armoire, a cheval mirror, two marble-top washstands, an octagonal table, and six side chairs.

Adapted from

DMA unpublished material.

Related Multimedia

Collections smARTphone video; Kevin Tucker discusses Bed by Crawford Riddell (DMA collection 200.324); Gothic revival
Learn about Crawford Riddell (active 1837–1849).
Collections smartphone audio about Crawford Riddell, creator of the gothic revival Bed (2000.324) DMA Collection
no audio; DMA Collection; Gothic Revival Bedstead, 2000.324

Fun Facts

Conservators spent more than 1,600 hours repairing and restoring the bed to its original condition.

Web Resources