The “Dragon Bed” is a misnoma as the two carved creatures which dominate the headboard have only two legs making them “Wyverns”! but to us, “Dragon Bed”has a better ring to it!
The characterful late C16th, possibly Welsh or Welsh Marches headboard came from a salvage yard in the Midlands and rested against the workshop wall for nearly ten years before we decided to make it into a complete bed and put it in our showroom at Discoed.
As a speculative project we knew that it would be quite expensive to undertake and when finished it might be considered to be a heavily restored, wide single bed, which is not what the present day market requires.
However, despite it becoming a fimiliar old friend, the rickety oak headboard was taking up space and the time had come to deal with it.
The following images record the repairs to the headboard and the reinstatement of the posts, rails and tester using the headboard as a guide to the carved decoration which was executed with the minimum number of gouges.
For added interest the rails were grooved and drilled to accommodate the lattice of hemp rope that would have traditionally supported the bedding, but this bed was not intended as a museum piece so pine slats were fitted for convenience. We also made it a little longer than it might originally have been in order to take a modern mattress, but from our conservators’ perspective the width of the headboard was not to be altered.
We were pleased with the finished bed which we felt was a fitting way of preserving and displaying the lovely headboard and it soon became the pride and joy of a wonderful elderly lady.