The Knebworth bed is likely to have been commissioned by John Robinson -Lytton (d.1762) at the time of his marriage in 1744 to Leonora Brereton of Borras, Denbighshire. Its canopy, with enriched compartments in the Tudor style, harmonised with the manor's ancient architecture, while its Bacchic lion-paw feet emerging from Roman foliage corresponds with the Falkland bedroom mantelpiece that is richly carved with an Echinous egg-and-dart banding, and a pediment displaying Venus's shell-badge emerging from acanthus foliage. Its fluted reed-enriched columns and Corinthian pilasters, accompanied by picturesque or serpentined cartouche panels, typify the combined antique and French decorative style introduced during King George II's reign by architects such as James Gibbs, who published his Book of Architecture in 1728. This fashion is reflected in a magnificent group of brass-inlaid cabinets associated with the St. Martin's Lane cabinet-maker John Channon (d.1783), as well as that one advertised in a 1730s print issued by the cabinet-maker Thomas Potter (C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, fig. 11).
This bed, however, can be attributed to the celebrated Clerkenwell cabinet-maker and upholster Giles Grendey (d.1780), who was noted in the London Evening Post of 9 August 1740 as 'a great Dealer in the Cabinet Way' and is directly related to a clothes-press bearing his inscribed label 'Giles Gredey In St. John's-Square, Clerkenwell, London, Makes and Sells all sorts of Cabinet-Goods, Chairs and Glasses' (illustrated in R. Edwards and M. Jourdain, Georgian Cabinet-Makers, London, rev. ed,, 1955, fig. 51). Indeed, this pedimented 'clothes-press' or 'wardrobe' which also displays serpentined cartouche panels of superbly-figured and mirror-matched mahogany, may conceivably be the 'Maho wardrobe' now untraced, that originally accompanied the 'Worked bed maho. posts' listed in the bedroom above 'The Little Hall' in the 1797 Knebworth inventory. Furthermore the bed's beautifully carved foliage and hairy-paw feet correspond to those of a suite of furniture traditionally thought to have been supplied by Grendey in the late 1730s for the State apartments at Longford Castle, Wiltshire (R. Edwards, op. cit., fig. 48).
Although the descriptions of the 1797 inventory are tantalisingly cursory, there are three mahogany bedsteads recorded which of these, the first certainly does not apply - 'a mahogany bedstead head and tail is silk', and the second - 'a mahogany bedstead green curtains' - is listed in the 'Room over the little Pond' which is too small. It may well, however, be identifiable with 'worked bed maho. posts', with its 'Green stuff bed' (mattress) recorded in the Room over the little Hall. Accompanied by a 'Maho. wardrobe' and a 'maho. dressing table'. This bed is unique in that the description does not mention either the material or colour of any of the hangings, suggesting that it was predominantly panelled wood rather than hung with exotic fabrics, and that the verb 'worked' may well refer to the frame rather than embroidery. It is, however succintly recorded in the'Inventory of Household Furniture, Pictures, Works of Art and Effects at Knebworth House, Herts, The Property of the Right Honourable The Earl of Lytton 1911' in the Falkland Chamber, where it was described as a '5ft. Chippendale four-poster bedstead on carved claw feet and canopy over', and it is photographed in situ following the hanging of the Chinese wallpaper under the direction of the 2nd Earl of Lytton's brother-in-law, Sir Edwin Lutyens circa 1908-10.