Headboard History

Category: Headboard Posts

Headboard History

Headboard history dates back as far as ancient Egypt to the pharaohs who had headboards made from gold, silver and carved ebony hardwood. The headboard not only served as a dramatic statement to wealth but also comfort, decoration and an insulator from drafts. The pharaohs also had very elaborate funeral chambers and centre stage was the ritual death bed

The headboard insulator theme was more pronounced during the Greek and Roman times to protect them from cold drafts, but not only that, the bed became the place to dine and socialise so our fumble headboard became a practical piece of furniture, a backrest as one sat, drank, and engaged in debate & conversation. Our bedroom thus became the main room and focal point, so spending on beds & headboards was required to uphold ones status.

medieval canopy bed

Four Poster Canopy Bed

Cold castles of the Middle Ages (5th-15th century) along came the canopy bed. Still very much a decorative center piece, with elaborate carvings, detailed architectural wooden paneling, or very elegant tapestry upholstery. The canopy bed aka four poster was yet again designed to stop those drafts and the upper canopy to protect the sleeper from dust and flying animal droppings.

Through the 19th century bedrooms became more private and intimate, but no less elaborate and opulently decorated, the many historic paintings and early photography depict the birth of Kings & Queens and the laying to rest of many great heads of state.

Weaving looms date back to 400BC in China, but commercial scale weaving was in the early 18th century so the use of decorative fabric for curtains & covers lead to the headboard usually being covered in the same fabric as the bedroom curtains. Throughout the 20th century the upholstered headboard was favoured as a decorative but comfortable luxury.

So our covered upholstered headboard evolved really as early as The Silk Road but more so from the tapestry canopied bed hangings. Today, headboards serve more as an aesthetic feature than the original function of glamour & draft excluder, but still a statement piece of the room that the eye is drawn to immediately.

But just think about the moments in your life and your own fond memories that have been centred around a bed and the bedroom. It’s the biggest object in the room, it’s a dumping ground when you are getting ready to go out, it’s where you throw yourself when upset, a suitcase supporter and of course childhood trampoline.

This list is not based on any sort of top activities, just ordered by given suggestions, from an email sent round the office asking people to list 5 things they do in the bed/bedroom

  • Love
  • Conception
  • Birth
  • Family Sunday mornings
  • Baby pictures
  • Mothers day
  • Fathers day
  • Wedding days
  • Romantic holiday breaks
  • Christmas morning
  • When ill (taken to bed)
  • Childhood trampoline
  • Doing homework
  • Chatting to friends
  • Reading a book/kindle
  • Watching the telly

 

So on top of the above list, you will also be sleeping (never made the list) in your bed. Based on the fact that our average life span is 75 years, and the recommend number of hours we should sleep is 8 hours, simple math tells us you are going to spend 9,125 days next to a headboard.

My email prompted many responses and much laughter around the office, we did however do a web search based on “bed activities” looking for a top ten list, mostly the results are about “not using your phone before bed“, but the one that made us laugh the most was the Huffington Post. Point number 2 suggests calling your Mum, if you can’t talk to her in person, so this suggests Mum lives with you and tucks you up at night, regularly stays over. As much as we all love our Mom’s, if I called my Mother late at night the first response would be “What’s Wrong” thus I have ruined her nights sleep.

I could of course expand this subject but that’s another post…



Against my better judgement and because I’ve been hounded to do so, we are inviting you to add comments about other funny bed related articles the web has to offer. All comments will be manually approved as we don’t wish to offend.