Iron Bedsteads

Iron Bedstead Gallery at Heals

It was in the year of 1810 – when King George III was declared insane, Napoleon Bonaparte divorced Josephine, Jane Austen wrote Sense and Sensibility and tinned cans were invented to preserve food – that John Harris Heal opened a small feather-dressing business at 33 Rathbone Place. Bringing a new, continental way of sleeping to London’s homeowners, it wasn’t long until this humble business became  a thriving innovator.

Specialising in mattresses, Heal’s became a leader of the bed-making pack. Famed for its quality, well-crafts beds, the store (which relocated to Tottenham Court Road in the 1840s) became a local landmark where people would meet –  “At the Sign of the Four Poster” became a well-used phrase!

At the sign of the fourposter

Always a step ahead of the competition, Heal’s began making iron bedsteads in the early nineteenth century. Using the same level of artistry it applied to its mattresses, the company’s beds were hand-forged using solid wrought iron. Catalogues dating back to 1902 show the huge selection and breadth of iron beds offered by Heal’s, not only for the home – the range included bedsteads designed specifically for hospitals and particular ailments too.

Now, 204 years after our first shop opened, we are celebrating our design history while also looking forward. Drawing upon our design heritage, Heal’s has created the brand-new Abacus range, which we will introduce in our next blog post… keep an eye out!

iron bedsteads at heals

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