An iron and brass Armchair that converts easily into a Day Bed or will fold out completely horizontal for use as a bed.
A number of different retailers sold versions of this bed all giving it variations on the name of a Folding Iron Chair Bedstead. In Australia they were known as the California Chair with the sellers looking to capitalise on the recent gold rush in the USA. Although the bed will fold fairly flat for transport it was aimed as much at the domestic house furnishing market by London’s Department Stores as it was to the military officer.
This example has brass front legs whilst others had turned wooden front legs or simple iron legs. It also has an arched support for the front legs which not all do. The incline of the back can be adjusted to three different positions by moving a bar to each arm upright which is cut with notches to receive it.
The foot rest and its folding legs lie flat against the seat, hidden by the cushion when not in use. To convert the Armchair into a Day Bed the foot rest is simple lifted up and its legs unfolded. It also has an arched front section to prevent the foot cushion sliding off.
To turn the Day Bed into a Single Bed, the bars that fit to the arm posts to adjust the incline of the back are released allowing the back (and the arms) to drop to a horizontal position. The back also has a pair of fold out legs to support it when down. We have replaced the cushions and added the two removable, padded covers for the top of the back and the foot rest for added comfort.
As more often than not, there is no maker’s or retailer’s name to the chair. A vast quantity of these chairs were sold in the second half of the 19th century. Some started off in life as better quality than others and some have survived in better condition. This example ticks both boxes and is a very comfortable and practical chair that can be used inside as an armchair or an extra guest bed or can be taken into the garden to enjoy the good weather. Late 19th Century.
The depth for use as a chair bed is 55 inches (140 cm) and for use as a bed is 75 1/2 inches (192 cm).