The tool bench at Murphy & Quinlivan, antique bed renovators

Shop Guide: Murphy & Quinlan, Cork

I first visited Johnny Murphy’s metal workshop a few years ago and I was very impressed. There are so many highly skilled tradesmen throughout Ireland but it’s not often you come across something as unique, and specialised, as this.

Johnny’s father started the business creating parts for nautical engineers and over the years the pair became involved in salvage restoration and subsequently began renovating Victorian beds. Through their contacts in salvage and with their expertise in brass and iron renovation, the sideline in antique bed supply grew and grew.

What makes this service special is Johnny’s appreciation for these beautiful beds. It easy to see just a pile of scrap metal when you view the original salvaged pieces, but through a series of specialised processes, these beds are truly transformed.

The beds are only restored once selected by the buyer. The finish and finials (if missing) can be chosen, and colour options are extensive. Powder coating is used to ensure longevity and any missing pieces are expertly matched. The beds can even be lengthened and widened to accommodate standard mattresses, a common problem when buying antique beds.

I aspire to own one of these beds. They cost only slightly higher than the average high street solid wood bed, which to me is surprising considering the level of skill, not to mention heritage, that goes into every one. Let the saving begin!

Murphy & Quinlan Metalworks, CorkJohnny Murphy of Murphy & Quinlan, Cork, puts the final touches on a brass bedknob

Johnny Murphy of Murphy & Quinlan, Cork, puts the final touches on a brass bedknob

Johnny puts the final touches on a brass bed knob

A selection of brass and iron antique Victorian beds await selection at Murphy & Quinlivan.

The antique Victorian bed store room at Murphy & Quinlan. Prospective customers can select their favourite and Johnny will renovate the bed to its former glory.

A selection of brass and iron antique Victorian beds await selection at Murphy & Quinlivan.

An antique Victorian iron bed awaits the finishing touches after having received a full powder coating in deep blue and polished brass finials.

A customer order awaits the finishing touches after having received a full powder coating in deep blue and polished brass finials.

Rows of Brasso sit by the polishing machine as brass from all over the country comes to Murphy & Quinlivan for a shine up.

Rows of Brasso sit by the polishing machine as brass from all over the country comes here for a shine up.

Johnny also works with nautical engineers, breweries and churches to renovate and repair their brass goods.

Johnny also works with nautical engineers, breweries and churches to renovate and repair their brass goods.

A large brass harp waits for a polish.

A large brass harp waits for a polish.

Click here to see more vintage iron bed inspiration on the Rough House Pinterest board.

Murphy & Quinlan Metalwork, Old Market Place, Douglas Street, Cork, 086 8393175, mqmetal@eircom.net, http://www.mqmetal.com

All photos by Alexia McInerney, unless otherwise stated. Images not to be republished without permission.

 

 

 

 

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