The cascade-nestled swans recall the French antique style introduced in the late 18th Century. Through their association with Apollo's night-drawn chariot they featured on beds such as that designed in 1798 for Madame Recamier (engraved in Krafft and Ransonnette, Plans, coupes et elevations des plus belles maisons...à Paris, 1800-1802).
Swan-armed couches featured in George Smith's Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1808 (pl. 152).
The seated swan with outspread wings is the crest of the Barttelot, Benvil, Benvill, Blachford, Brodhurst and Sellar families.