Shupe & Noble “Climax” Folding Bed

by John Werry on July 24, 2010

Post image for Shupe & Noble “Climax” Folding Bed

I was contacted by a Rare Victorian visitor about a Shupe & Noble bed that they would like to sell and I thought it would be good to share with everyone for two reasons: 1) the maker is known and is not one that I’ve run across before, and 2) it is one of those contraptions that the Victorians seemed to have loved to conjure up.

This Renaissance Revival bed/desk was made some time after the last patent date of 1881 (there are apparently 3 total patents: ’77, ’78, and ’81).  I’m not sure what will happen to your belongings when you open the bed and the drawers are upended face down to the floor.

The bed is for sale for those who might be interested.  Use the contact page on the menu above.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

woodwright July 25, 2010 at 6:44 am

You wrote: “I’m not sure what will happen to your belongings when you open the bed and the drawers are upended face down to the floor.” I’m betting the drawers are false fronts as is the door and C-roll. I’d bet none of them actually work and it is just there to look like a cylinder roll desk when not in use, but it actually only functions as abed. woodwright

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JOe Wiessinger July 25, 2010 at 11:29 am

I agree with Woodwright. I have seen “pianos” that open into beds and obviously, there is no room for the action, strings or sound board in the contraption. Just looks nice and gives the impression that the owner is an erudite, educated person when infact, he is just a lazy person who wants all to believe he is something he is not. Fun stuff.

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Jim Martin July 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Folding (disguised) beds were in fairly common use in most English speaking countries in Victorian times as a space saver – where a living room sometimes had to also function as a bedroom
if an unexpected guest needed to be accomodated.
They came in both horizontal forms and vertical, usually hidden in a chiffonier style cabinet or a tall two door cabinet. Some, as illustrated by this cabinet, were quite elaborate to fit in with the other furnishings of the room.
Its the same old story – one of the fundamental purposes of furniture is to hide and disguise which this metamorphosis desk does exremely well.

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woodwright July 26, 2010 at 2:33 am

Maybe Victorian convertible furniture is where Hasbro came up with the idea for “Transformers”?

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Valerie July 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

How interesting! I must admit that I’ve never seen one of these before. While I do agree that there is an element of the practical in such a bed, I do also see a great deal of Victorian whimsey. Why can’t we make interesting stuff like this today?

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English Classics July 27, 2010 at 11:02 am

OK, so why are we calling it a “Climax” bed? Depending on the owner, I suppose that could be a very apt name, but I imagine that’s not what whoever named it had in mind.

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