Crawford Riddell ( American, 1837 - 1849 )
- c. 1844
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.
DMA unpublished material.
Conservators spent more than 1,600 hours repairing and restoring the bed to its original condition.
- New York Times
Read an announcement of the Dallas Museum of Art's acquisition of this bed.
- DMA Uncrated
This bed was featured in the post "From Sea to Shining Sea."
- National Park Service
Read a history of Rosedown Plantation.
- National Portrait Gallery
View a portrait of Henry Clay by Chester Harding.
- The Library of Congress
Explore resources related to Henry Clay available in the digital collections of the Library of Congress.
- Wildscreen Arkive
Learn about Brazilian rosewood, one of the woods used to create this bed.