The present bed is a fine early 20th century copy (with only minor differences in the carving of the back and to the tester) of an Elizabethan four-poster bed illustrated in P. Maquoid, History of English Furniture, The Age of Oak, London, 1904, fig. 67. The original bed was the Property of Sir Charles Lawes-Wittewronge, Bart. of Rothamsted Manor, Hertfordshire, and is depicted in situ in an oak panelled room akin to that in the Silver Bedroom at Cowdray.
The interior schematic of the Silver Bedroom at Cowdray, with its silvered furniture after the suite at Knole and this richly carved four-poster bed is a fabulous example of the fashionable 'Jacobean' and 'Elizabethan' revivals which flourished in the decorative arts in England from about 1880 onwards (see P. Agius, British Furniture, 1880-1915, Woodbridge, 1978, p. 43.).
It is likely the present bed was commissioned by Weetman Harold Miller Pearson, 2nd Viscount Cowdray, sometime during the 1920s - possibly when he suceeded his father as Viscount in 1927. No record is made to the silver furniture or this bed in the inventory of Cowdray compiled in 1919.
London firms such as Wainwrights of Hoxton produced catalogues illustrating both generic types of period furniture for mass production alongside some genuine 17th century pieces which were then copied. It is possible that the present bed was made by such a firm, with the Rothamsted Bed in mind.
The Rothamsted Bed illustrated in Macquoid sold Property of Sir Charles Lawes-Wittwronge, Bart., Christie's London, 14 May 1936, lot 132.