The 'Chippendale' bed's fretted pelmet, with beribboned and shell-like cartouches of Roman acanthus, relates to a George III bed supplied for Tabley House, Cheshire in the 1760s (sold from Tabley House at Christie's London, 16 November 1989, lot 74A). Tabley was the work of the York architect John Carr and the Yorkshire carvers David Shillito and Matthew Bertram are known to have worked as carvers at Tabley. Interestingly, however, another Yorkshireman, Thomas Chippendale, who published designs for related cornices in his Director of 1763, is traditionally also thought to have worked at Tabley.
Oliver Hill (d.1968) was an architect and landscape designer. A family friend of Sir Edwin Lutyens, he was apprenticed to a builder and then to an architect. Initally the author of Arts and Crafts cottages, he matured to build sleek Art Deco interiors, was an early exponent of 'White' modernism and his last house was an essay in 17th Century style. As his friend, the author Christopher Hussey explained, Hill was no intellectual, but his 'bent was essentially for visual values, colour and texture in materials and picturesque forms'. This bed, which Oliver Hill and his wife Tania found in the King's Road in the 1930's, was recovered in red silk and used both at their house, 6 Cliveden Place, London, and subsequently at Daneway House, Gloucestershire, where it is photographed in situ.
Although the baluster urn foot at the base of the front posts is extremely unusual, published beds of the early 18th Century invariably have their front posts disguised by bed hangings. However, similar material-covered front posts do feature on a bed at Hampton Court Palace, illsutrated in O. Brackett, An Encyclopaedia of English Furniture, London, 1927, p.138.