Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

On May 22 the bed returns to Sotheby’s, this time to the new Olympia saleroom where the refined entirety of Sherwood’s collection will be on sale.

Alterations, restorations, marriages and other “improvements” carried out when early collectors were concerned more with theatricality than historical accuracy, mean that many oak collections begin to crumble under scholarly scrutiny. In the case of the Sherwood Collection academic scrutiny is being positively encouraged. On May 16, prior to general viewing Sotheby’s Olympia is hosting a joint gathering of the Regional Furniture Society and the RICS for an afternoon of lectures based on the furniture. There are a number of showpieces like the tester bed above – most notably two Elizabethan refectory tables, one from Bridewell House in Devon, the other from Birtsmorton Court in Worcestershire.

But there are humbler treats for the early furniture enthusiast in the form of select groups of rushlight holders, brass candlesticks, joint stools, board stools, pestles, saucepans, chests, chairs, bible boxes and desks. There also some choice fragments and oddments of treen which reflect a breadth of interest as well as an unwavering concern for authenticity.