The History of Iron Beds

First used by the Chinese, cast iron pieces were made in 550 B.C. In the 18th Century there were numerous small foundries in the East and even as far west as Chicago. They took great pride and care in their designs. These small foundries could take days to make one single.
Raw iron was melted and hand poured and into molds. Finishes were varied and could range from simple white to multiple colors with gilted detail on the castings. Because of the meticulous methods used to produce iron bed frames, it is rare to find duplicate designs. Back in the mid 1800's, iron being produced in America was far superior to that of Europe. The foundries produced limited numbers of the beds but they were very high quality. That’s why today you can find beds that are in perfect condition: They have stood the test of time.
There is just no substitute for the hand-forged design from a skilled craftsman. Here at Cottage Antiques we have a passion for the beautiful, old, especially fancy iron bes. We're always hunting for good quality iron beds. When we bring them in, they don’t last long. The ornate, tall beds are the most difficult to find. I love the ones with the original paint, especially those that are chippy and aged to perfection. Here are photos of some of the beds we’ve had in or have right now.
This fancy one is still in our store, it has several layers of old paint and is aged to perfection


Cordelia to speak at The Cool Twitter Conferences World Tour

I am on the roster to speak at the San Diego Cool Twitter Conferences World Tour on July 15th sponsored by the Washington, DC-based technology group, The Cool Blue Company LLC."The Cool Twitter Conferences World Tour" second stop is taking place in San Diego, CA on Wednesday, July 15th at Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar, 802 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 in the heart of the Gaslamp quarter.I'm very excited to be a part of such an enthusiastic group of tweeple (sorry about that, couldn't help myself). This is an exciting time regarding social media and what it can do for businesses today, including retail brick and mortars. Check back for updates on the program. I can't wait!

Of course, I'll be posting photos of the presenters and attendees.


Hang your flags for 4th of July

Happy 4th of July from our house to yours! Have a safe one, friends.


Heidi's Historic Summer Gardens

On this Fourth of July, I featuring my good friend Heidi Daniels' barn shoppe. It's located in New England’s historic Harrub's Corner in Plympton, Massachusetts, in the town’s historic district. Heidi grew up in Ocean Beach, in San Diego, but she always wanted to move to the East Coast. So more than 15 years ago, she moved to New England and fulfilled her dream. That's where she met Ben, whom she later married. They bought a historic home with an 1800s post-and-beam barn on the property.   
Enjoy the photos and have a safe and happy 4th of July.

The house, named “Summer Gardens,” has a rich historic past. It was built by architect Isaac King in 1687 and completed around 1720. Back then, during the Revolutionary War, it was a way station. Also, in the mid 1800s, the property was a stagecoach stop and tavern. Besides the house, there are two small outbuildings, which once housed a store and post office. Heidi called her store Summer Gardens, after the original house. The shop is inside a large barn on the property.

Heidi loves primitives and Americana and her store reflects the past. It’s overflowing with homespun textiles, painted furniture, Windsor chairs, folk art dolls, handmade local art, and even famous local home-baked pies -- you name it. Heidi’s always loved decorating. I met her on the volleyball courts in South Mission Beach in the 1980s, and our group all called her the “Martha Stewart of Mission Beach” because she had such a knack with making her beach cottage cozy. Her quilts were stacked on a pine cupboard, and transferware plates were hung on the walls and also tucked inside a country hutch. The final touch was the almost endless aroma of cookies baking in her oven.
Fast forward to New England where today she has created a virtual fantasy on the grounds of historic Summer Gardens, with its blooming flower fields where Heidi does spends hours each day planting and pruning her fresh flower gardens. Customers can stroll, cut their own flower bouquets, and view the lavender fields and gourd arbor while admiring the barn and the 17th century home in the distance. Summer Gardens holds a Lavender Days event each year, which is coming up soon. I've always admired Heidi's creative talents, and now she's expressing them in this historically significant two-story barn. My husband Bob and I visited Heidi and Ben two summers ago and stayed on their property. It was very much like vacationing in a historic bed-and-breakfast inn.
So, on our nation’s birthday, this is my tribute to my friend Heidi's one-of-a-kind shop and all things American.

Give Heidi a call if there's anything in her barn you are interested in. (They ship.)  781-582-1576