Skip to main content
Boscobel's program schedule is subject to change due to COVID. At this time, Boscobel's grounds are open as scheduled but there are no house tours until further notice. x

The Renowned Collection

Bed Steps

As its name suggests, this curious form of furniture helped young, old, and infirm users climb into a bed.

New York
Bed steps, c. 1810s-20s
Mahogany mahogany veneer, tulip poplar, white pine, brass, original wool
ingrain carpet
Gift of funds from Lila Acheson Wallace and other donors F76.39

This example, apparently inspired by a drawing in Thomas Sheraton’s The Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book (published 1793, 1794, and 1803) had a secondary, secret use. The middle section slides forward and is hinged to lift up, revealing a compartment for a chamber pot. The top step lifts up to reveal a narrow storage compartment.

Boscobel’s collection includes a surprising number of furniture related to toilet use—all designed with convenience, modesty, and elegance in mind.

Back to Top