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19th Century Royal Gurage Bed, Ethiopia


19th Century Royal Bed. Gurage Culture, Ethiopia

This amazing early bed, personally collected in Ethiopia in the 1990's, formally belonged to the collection of Tekalegn Besapa, Addis Ababa.

Carved geometric designs decorate each side of the bed and its four supporting upright columns. The side panels are connected to each column by wooden pegs, which, when fitted through holes and wedged firmly into place, tightly secure the joints. Lastly, the cross supporting planks are fitted and placed loosely into position, in which they are supported by a ridge along each of the long decorative supporting side panels. Once set up, the bed is stable and like back in the days could hold a person's weight lying down. Yet, the complete structure of the bed can be dismantled and easily transported and stored. Whilst the bed serves a practical function, with a bit of imagination, it could also be made into and used as a large coffee table possibly with a reinforced glass top made to measure. The entirety of the wooden surface exhibits a dark, worn patina - particularly on each of the cross supporting planks.

This type of bed is rare to find in Ethiopia, and would only have been used by high-ranking, wealthy individuals and families of the Gurage community.

Estimated Period: 19th Century (Or Before)

Approx. 200cm x 130cm

(Click on images to enlarge)

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Approx. 200 CM X 130 CM
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