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Bed - The Garrick Bed
  • The Garrick Bed
    Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779
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The Garrick Bed

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Japanned (painted) beech and pine, with 20th century reproduction hangings.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by H. E. Trevor, a direct descendant of David Garrick's brother, George

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 1 []

This four-poster bed takes its name from the celebrated actor and theatrical manager David Garrick (1717-1779). He commissioned it for his Thames-side villa. It was made in the workshops of Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), one of the most influential British furniture-makers.

Chippendale’s interest in the newly fashionable Neo-classical style can be seen in the design and carved and painted decoration. The two front posts are carved as reeded columns with lotus capitals. Their bases are painted with paterae (flat circular ornaments) and husks (three short, flat leaves in profile, making a chain of ornament).

The bed cornice was identical to the cornice which divided the bedroom from the dressing room and to the cornices of the three windows. All these painted fittings were supplied by Chippendale. The decoration, inspired by Chinese wallpaper, was enhanced by the prospect of the couple’s garden with its mature willow tree.

The present hangings are reproductions made for display in the British Galleries which opened in 2001, but the original hangings are also in the V&A collection (museum numbers 17,18 & 19-1906; W.70I-1917),and one is displayed next to the bed. The original Indian chintz hangings were presented to Mrs Garrick in 1775 by friends in Calcutta. They were of dyed and painted cotton, made in Masulipatam, Madras, in an East India Company factory. On arrival they were were seized by British Customs' officials and David Garrick had to plead to recover them.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1775 (made)


Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Japanned (painted) beech and pine, with 20th century reproduction hangings.


Height: 244 cm, Width: 137 cm, Depth: 200 cm

Object history note

Museum negative 74591 shows this on display in Gallery 40 in 1936 as part of a display of Georgian furniture.


Furniture; British Galleries


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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