Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Beds - Styles

Beds - Construction
All illustrations are from furniture in Buffalo, NY, unless otherwise indicated.


Bandy legs

Legs bowed or bent in an outward curve



Curtains hanging from rods

Often used in conjunction with a valance.



The frame supporting a bed



A covering, usually of cloth, suspended over a bed

Often arched: 2 curved rods reinforced by narrow stretchers


Field top

The tester is cut in a serpentine curve from head to foot



Foot board

An upright board across the foot of a bedstead


Head board

A board or panel that forms the head of a bed



Acanthus leaf

Acorn finial

Cabriole leg

Claw-and-ball feet

Finial -  See above: Finial

Fluted bedpost


Reeded bedpost


The horizontal strip of a frame or a panel. The horizontal tie bar joining the stiles/posts


Narrow band of wood,used to support mattresses

Stile / Post / Bedpost

A vertical structural unit


(pronounced TES ter, or TEE ster)

A canopy

Sometimes domed

Three-Quarter High-Post Bed

"Is without
tester and all posts are alike. They measure from four feet six inches to five feet eight inches tall and are either vase-and-ring turned, terminating in ball, urn or cone-shape finials, or acanthus-leaf carved and terminate in urn or pineapple-carved finials.

"Below rails they are turned in vase shape, are either plain or leaf-carved and terminate in small peg feet.

"Headboard, 16 to 20 inches high, has either a straight upper edge with voluted ends or a carved and pierced cresting. Matching footboard may be present.

"Rails are generally 26 to 28 inches from floor.

"Made in all sections [of the country] of mahogany, maple, cherry or birch. Ca. 1820-1840."

- Thomas H. Ormsbee, Field Guide to American Victorian Furniture, 1951


(pronounced VAIL ans, or VAY lens)

An ornamental drapery hung across a top edge of a bed or canopy

Photos and their arrangement 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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