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Four poster bed

A four poster bed is a bed with four vertical columns, one in each corner, that support a tester, or upper (usually rectangular) panel. There are a number of antique four poster beds extant dating to the 16th century and earlier; many of these early beds are highly ornate and are made from oak. An example of such an early 16th century four poster resides in Crathes Castle, which was made for the original castle owners in the Burnett of Leys family.

Ornate Elizabethan four poster bed

Usually, the function of the tester was to hold bed curtains that could surround the bed to keep out draughts. In modern times, this function has become unnecessary because of improvements in insulation and draught exclusion. Consequently, the posts and tester became a redundant element of comfortable bedding, and their cost meant that they gradually became less popular in favour of postless beds. Nevertheless, the four-poster bed without the tester has remained a popular style for many bedrooms because of its traditional and luxurious appearance.[citation needed]

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