From 8th December visitors to Temple Newsam House will be able to see the newly restored Queen Anne State bed in its full crimson velvet and gold lace splendour.
The bed was commissioned in 1711 by John, 1stEarl Poulett for Hinton House in Somerset but by the time it was acquired for Temple Newsam 30 years ago in 1981, it was in a severely rotten state. The bed canopy was nearing collapse and the bed posts were significantly unstable. Marking its 300th birthday the bed has had a glorious makeover. Described as “the most radical restoration of a state bed ever”, it is the culmination of two years’ work by conservators, weavers, carvers, upholsterers, engineers, blacksmiths and curators. Find out more about the restoration project here.
In order to mark this extraordinary restoration, Temple Newsam is holding a year-long exhibition exploring beds and bedrooms called Bedtime Stories.
- Chapter One: The Restoration of the Queen Anne State bed: A celebratory tale of a dilapidated bed returned to glory (8th December 2011- 1st May 2012) The exhibition looks at the restoration of the bed in depth detailing the behind-the-scenes work by skilled craftsmen to restore the bed.
- Chapter Two: Beds and Bedding in Britain 1650-1850 (Opens 15th May 2012) The story of beds and bedrooms. What did people wear to bed? How did they make a bed? And just what did they get up to in the bedroom? Raunchy prints, grand beds and glamorous nightwear tell the bed time stories of Britain between 1650 and 1850.
A series of special events accompanies Chapter One of Bedtime Stories including Lunch with the Curator (£20, Saturday 28th January 2012), a specialist demonstration of cleaning the bed (Thursday 23rd February 2012) and a talk on the engineering of the Queen Anne State bed (£20, Wednesday 14th March 2012). Download the events leaflet to find out more about these and other events here: Bedtime Stories special events.