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Salesman's Sample of a Parlor Cabinet/Bed

Decorative Arts and Design

MAKER John Higgins
MEDIUM Walnut, other woods, silvered glass
DATES ca. 1870
DIMENSIONS Closed: 12 7/8 x 9 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (32.7 x 24.3 x 10.8 cm) Length when open: 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Alfred T. and Caroline S. Zoebisch Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Salesman's sample for convertible bed in form of a parlor cabinet; walnut, other woods, silvered glass. Upright rectangular case with fake slant-topped cabinet below; scrolling pediment at top of case with lost finial in center; stepped cornice around top edge; paneled sides. Front of cabinet has two arched mirrored windows in top section with molded strip in between; there appears to be a lost piece at the top of this strip which probably served as a handle for opening the bed; scrolling brackets in each top corner of front section. Hinged slanted top opens to empty space down front of unit (perhaps for storing bed linens). Bottom section of case with arched panels. Entire front of cabinet pulls down into a bed: the brackets fold down to form legs at the foot of the bed and support a rectangular box bed frame; removable box spring formed by joined slats of bent wood and springs; headboard across open back of cabinet with scrolled top edge. Condition: Good; some lost pieces including finial at top of cabinet, handle device, and slats in box spring; large crack in proper left lower front panel; scuffs in wood and losses in silver of mirrored glass.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION John Higgins. Salesman's Sample of a Parlor Cabinet/Bed, ca. 1870. Walnut, other woods, silvered glass, Closed: 12 7/8 x 9 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (32.7 x 24.3 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. and Caroline S. Zoebisch Fund, 2001.9.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2001.9.1_view1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.2001.9.1_view1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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