Maryland, c. 1780-1790
F61 Museum Purchase in 1952
Beds in the 18th century bore witness to the most important events in family life–from birth to death. This bed is no exception, and it has an interesting story to tell.
Brian Philpot Jr. (1756-1812) was the original owner of this bed. A merchant of English ancestry, he was a prominent Baltimore citizen and served in the American Revolution. Brian’s father, Brian Philpot Sr., came from Stamford, England, in 1734 with an authorization from King George III to establish his mercantile business. He gained great success. Brian Jr. continued his father’s interests and also established a robust merchant business. Philpot Street in Baltimore is named after him. Brian Jr. married Elizabeth Johnson and the pair had six children. Their country house was known as Stamford; it is currently the club house for the Green Spring Valley Hounds and Hunt Club.
This elaborately carved bed could have been at Stamford in the late 18th century. Maryland-made with imported mahogany, it represents a late Chippendale style with some classical motifs. The main features of the bed are the carved acanthus leaves, half rosettes, bellflower drops, and egg and dart motifs on the four elongated vase bed posts. The legs are slightly tapered with spade feet.
The bed descended to the Philpot’s daughter Elizabeth, who had a daughter also named Elizabeth. She married Alexander Randall (1803-1881). The bed was in the Randall family for many generations. Alexander Randall, was a prominent lawyer from Annapolis. Randall was the son of John Randall (1750-1826) who had finished the Hammond-Harwood House after his mentor, the architect William Buckland (1734-1774), passed away during the construction of the house. Now in the Northeast Bed Chamber, or main bedroom, the bed is an appropriate piece for the Hammond-Harwood House collection, given its origin with the Randall family. Several descendants of the Randall family are actively involved with the Hammond-Harwood House, and the museum cherishes their continued connection.