Although common items of campaign furniture in the late 19th century, this example of the fold out iron chair bed is an earlier version.
It retains most of its original paintwork and is a little more ornate with its shaped arms and cartouche compared to later ones. The way it folds out to change from an armchair to day bed is also different to others we have seen. To convert it to a bed, the back is pulled forward as opposed to dropping backwards. The seat of the chair is formed of two layers so when the back is pulled forward the chair will unfold to give the length needed. The back of the chair is supported by a section half its height when used as a chair. This acts as the back section or head board when a day bed but will also fall forward to reduce the size for travel or act to provide an angled pillow rest. The front legs are turned and painted wood.
At the time of the Australian Gold Rush this type of chair was advertised as the California Chair to capitalize on their popularity during the American Gold Rush. An interesting and earlier variant of a popular chair. Circa 1850.