Bed (Lit à la polonaise)

Object Details


Bed (Lit à la polonaise)


Unknown maker




Paris, France (Place created)


about 1775–1780


Gessoed, gilded, and painted walnut; gilded iron; modern silk upholstery and passementerie; ostrich feathers

Object Number:



302 × 179 × 226 cm (118 7/8 × 70 1/2 × 89 in.)

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A grand bed like this one was meant to stand in a deep niche in the bedroom of the main apartment of a palace or mansion. In the 1700s, visitors were frequently received in the bedroom, while the host or hostess was still in bed or at his or her dressing table.

Wealthy Europeans of this era spent vast sums of money on lavish textiles to decorate their rooms. Although the extravagant upholstery, passementerie (fringes, cords, and tassels), and hangings on this bed are modern, they replicate its original grandeur. To match the effect of other contemporary beds, curators and conservators studied photographs of this bed taken in the early 1900s, when much of the original fabric remained.


Alexandre-Edmond de Talleyrand-Périgord, third duc de Dino, 1813 - 1894


or Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, fourth duc de Dino, 1843 - 1917 (Place Vendôme, Paris, France)


Duveen Brothers, Inc. (Paris, France), and sent temporarily to Carlhian et Beaumetz, Paris.
Source: Photographs: Decorative Arts: Furniture: Upholstery/Tapestry Furniture, undated, Duveen Brothers Stock Documentation, GRI, 2007.D.1, boxes 523-530.

- 1923

Mlle. Gilda Darthy [sold, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 18, 1923, no. 77, to F. Schutz, Paris]

1923 -

F. Schutz (Paris, France)


Possibly Espirito Santo Family (Europe)

- 1983

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, London, July 8, 1983, lot 96, to Barbara Piasecka Johnson.]

1983 -

The Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection [unsold, Sotheby's, London, June 26, 1987, lot 76.]

1992 - 1994

Karl Lagerfeld (Paris, France) [sold, Sotheby's, New York, May 21, 1992, lot 88, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Education Resources

Education Resource




Are you Sleeping?

Students learn to measure using their feet as the unit of measurement and sketch the pieces of furniture they measured.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; Math


Single Class Lesson

Dream Bed

Two beds show students that everyday objects can be works of art, and that artists design functional items that are often beautiful.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Long-Term Unit

Related Media
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    Audio: Bed (Lit à la Polonaise) (Descriptions)
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    Audio: Bed (Lit à la Polonaise) (Highlights) (1)