Room 57: The Great Bed of Ware
The enormous, three-metre-wide, Great Bed of Ware dominates Room 57. Probably built for an inn at Ware, Hertfordshire, about 1590, it is twice the size of a normal bed of the period. In contrast to this, portrait miniatures, popular during the reign of Elizabeth I are also on display here. Aiming to give the impression of stability, Elizabeth commissioned artists to create highly stylized portraits of herself which were distributed both in the form of prints to the masses as well as miniatures in lockets and gold cases to her favourites.
From 5 March 2012 the Great Bed begins its journey back to Ware. It is leaving the V&A on a year-long loan to the Ware Museum – the first time the Bed has ever been on loan to another venue.
Room 57 is on Level 2 of the V&A South Kensington.