Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano
Smith & Co.
The piano was an important element of the parlor in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a focus of family life and attested to the social aspirations of the owner. The consumer of this convertible piano-bed could, in a way, have his cake and eat it too--enjoying the propriety that a piano conferred on his parlor while gaining a reasonably comfortable sleeping unit for a large family living in limited space. The amusing idea of sleeping in a piano (or a fancy parlor cabinet, in the case of the parlor bedstead) must have been part of the furniture's appeal.
Ebonized woods, metal
55 1/2 x 54 3/4 x 27 in. (141 x 139.1 x 68.6 cm) (show scale)
On back, stamped: "5734A"; stenciled: "SMITH & c."
Two fragmentary paper labels [give directions on how to open and use bed; see files for full text]
This item is not on view
Gift of Elinor Merrell
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Smith & Co.. Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano, ca. 1885. Ebonized woods, metal, 55 1/2 x 54 3/4 x 27 in. (141 x 139.1 x 68.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Elinor Merrell, 86.176. Creative Commons-BY
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Convertible bed in form of upright piano. When closed: Rectangular case with paneled sides; front has paneled lower section with 2 pedals and on each side of case, s-scrolled brackets support sham keyboard. Above keyboard is central music rest of framed, fan-shaped fretwork, flanked by two panels of fretwork of palmettes and scrollwork. Lid hinges open and front of "piano" hinges at base to open to bed with mesh and wire support for mattress.
CONDITION: Finish discolored and "whitish" throughout. Proper right lower support for scroll bracket is loose. Minor cracks and separation in flanking fretwork panels on front.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.