We decided when we moved in to this house that it was time to become grown-ups and upgrade from our old full size bed. We started our usual scouring of eBay and Craigslist looking for just the right king size bed or headboard. When our tax refund came, we even almost considered this overpriced industrial canopy bed from Anthropologie:
But at $1900 we just couldn't justify it.
So about a year ago we spotted this old '50s caned headboard for $175 at one of our favorite haunts in Phoenix (Zinnia's). We liked it, but we always thought maybe we could find something a little better. So months went by and every time we stopped by the store we'd check to see if the headboard was still there. Sure enough, it was always right where we left it, just collecting dust behind some old end tables and nick nacks.
Some time later we happened to be browsing eBay for headboards and we came across a piece that looked just like the one we had our eye on. It was listed as Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Starting bid: $1600. We were on the freeway 5 minutes later.
When we got to the store, we rushed back to the booth, and of course, there it was. We greedily slid it from behind the pile of odds and ends to reveal that beautiful little metal plate that read "Dunbar - Berne, Indiana". We also noticed the price had been reduced to $150!
When we got home with our prize we did a little more research and found that Edward Wormley was known for designing really high quality modern furniture for Dunbar in the '40s and '50s. From 1950 - 1955, he was included in the Good Design Exhibitions staged by the MoMA. So while he may not be as well known as Eames or Saarinen, his furniture is still very collectible. In fact, we found the exact same headboard on 1stdibs listed for $7,500. In case you're not a math wiz, that's 50x what we paid for it! Of course we'd never get that much for it if we sold it ourselves, but it does feel nice to tell yourself it's worth $7,500.
It actually turned out to be perfect for our bedroom anyway, so regardless of its value, we really love it. One of these mornings when we're feeling motivated enough to make the bed, we'll post some photos of the bedroom. For now all you get is this photo of the lonely headboard: