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Post and Bolt Covers Mahogany
Pierced Canopy Red Cedar
Canopy Subframe Tulip Poplar
Back Posts and Rails Birch
 
The combination of secondary and tertiary timbers is not found on English eighteenth century beds
but is typical of construction materials from Philadelphia in the 1770's.
 
As documented in The 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book, the bed cornices are of red cedar,
cut open for carving or covering, with the pulleys to the rails priced at £1 10s 0d.
 
These could also be supplied with pieces to the corners and a scalloped upper edge. The Price Book tells
us that imported red cedar rather than mahogany was used for the construction of carved and pierced canopies.
 
An aromatic wood that cost the same as mahogany, red cedar was also used for coffins and storage
chests.
 
CB11
Description of scalloped cedar “cut open” cornices in the 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book.
 
The choice of cedar as a timber for the cornices could be twofold. It has been suggested that it was a
remedy to a stuffy bedroom, providing an aromatic scent. 
The properties of cedar wood as an insect
 repellent make it particularly appropriate for keeping moths away from the bed drapes. The light weight
of the cedar compared mahogany of the period could also have been a factor, as the cornice set would be easier to support.