Not currently on display at the V&A


1922 (made)
Place Of Origin

Painted and gilded wood, modern hangings. Peacock blue, gold and venetian red.

object details
Object Type
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Bed Headboard
  • Footboard
  • Bed Parts, Finials and Bolts
Materials and Techniques
Painted and gilded wood
Brief Description
Gilt and painted bed with red hangings, modelled on the 'St Ursula' bed in Carpaccio's Vision of St Ursula
Physical Description
Painted and gilded wood, modern hangings. Peacock blue, gold and venetian red.
  • Approx. height: 88in
  • Approx. width: 46.5in
  • Approx. depth: 96in
Taken from register
Gallery Label
BED Designed by Geoffrey Scott (British, 1883-1929) Painted and gilded wood, modern hangings 1922 Geoffrey Scott was an architectural historian and connoisseur. This bed, designed for the London home of William Heywood Haslam, is closely based upon that in Carpaccio's The Vision of St Ursula in the collection of the Accademia in Venice. It is probable that Scott knew the beds based upon St Ursula's which Sir Edwin Lutyens had designed in 1914 for his daughters. W.25-1984(1989-2006)
Object history
The design modelled on the St Ursula bed in the Carpaccio painting "Vision of St Ursula" in the Accademia, Venice.

Said to have been designed for the bedroom of William Heywood Haslam in his London house, 8 Hanover Terrace. It was moved to Great Hundridge Manor, Great Missenden, Bucks in 1927, almost as soon as the Haslam's bought that William and Mary house. Great Hundridge was modernised by Clough Williams-Ellis for Haslam and the antique dealer Dorothy Warren supplied much of the furniture. At Great Hundridge the colouring of the bed was well suited to the painted imitation of scagliola that decorated the bedroom in which it was set and which dated from the late-seventeenth century. This very unusual decoration was described in 1941 by Country Life as 'umber, burnt Siena, ochre and Indian red'. In the illustration of the bed (see refs.), it is shown with a Paisley shawl used as the bedcover.

This bed was lent to the Museum from 18 August 1983 and acquired by the Museum in March 1984. A note from Nicky Haslam dated 30 August 1983 records that the valances may have been destroyed because they were 'completely rotted'. He continues 'Anyway , none of the tassels remained, but my brother remembers them as being the same read as the valence, in a dull silk. The valence itself was Venetian red silk, the same stuff inside and out, with a stiffened interlining. Simon asked me about the counter-pane, and luckily I saw my ancient mama on Friday, who remembers it clearly - and her memory is very good - as being the same stuff as the valence with a dull silver/gold insect braid - rather like the other ones that Scott used in the enclosed xeroxes [onRP], I suppose.'

The valences and counterpane were recreated by Seymour Furnishings, Upholsteres, London W.10.

Historical significance: The bed is an example of the taste for the Quattrocento and Cinquecento which, under the influence of Berenson and others, tended to dominate the English intellegensia in the middle years of the 20th century.
Bibliographic Reference
Christopher Hussey, 'Great Hundridge Manor, Bucks - II. The Home of Mr William Heywood Haslam'. Country Life, Feb 22, 1941, vol LXXXIX, pp.166-170, the bed illustrated as fig. 4 on p. 167 and described on pp.169-170.
Accession Number

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record createdFebruary 7, 2007
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