Looking back to the days when we made beds in India: A design consideration for our carved Indian wooden beds is that we combine the traditional decorative styles of India alongside a contemporary proportion - we want our Indian beds to retain the character of Indian crafts but to be executed in a light and modern style.
We're great enthusiasts of Indian woodcarving and we've designed a collection of carved sheshamwood beds which are made exclusively for us by a family in Rajasthan. The dense sheshamwood is an excellent timber for carving and the dark reddish brown colour gives a true Oriental feel, all that you would expect from an Indian bed. Sheshamwood is sometimes called Indian Rosewood.
Geometric Carved Kandahar Bed
The Kandahar is our most popular Indian bed, it has a carved geometric design across the top of the headboard and footboard based on a design we saw across a lintel over a doorway. The geometric carving and shape of the leg on this Indian bed is based on an old chair from Nuristan, a remote hilly, wooded area of Afghanistan. The first photo shows some Kandahar beds in production in India, with lizard!
The Kandahar Bed Story
The story behind the Kandahar, and the reason it's named after a city in Afghanistan, is that the design is based on carving on an old chair from Nuristan. We've had this chair for over 30 years and I've always particularly liked the carving on the legs.
Until the late 19th century Nuristan was known as Kafiristan, the land of the unbeliever. Kafiristan was the last part of Afghanistan to be converted to Islam and then became known as Nuristan, the land of light. Nuristan is densely wooded and all the wooden houses and buildings are covered with carvings including many totemic images of people.
Possibly, after conversion to Islam, the Nuristanis were discouraged from creating images of people or had to find more discreet ways to do it. The chair legs contain a geometric pattern that show a representation of a human head and torso, cleverly disguised to look like a simple geometric pattern. If you look carefully on the chair leg you'll see how we've interpreted the design on the Kandahar bed legs.