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After his suicide in 1890, the bed eventually passed to his brother's widow Jo, who brought the bed back to Holland to utilise in a small guest house she established.
The trail ran cold here, until Bailey uncovered a letter from 1937; a response to a request to borrow paintings, written to Jo's nephew (also called Vincent) in advance of a potential museum established in the Yellow House, with the reply that: "I could give you the bed which appears in the painting of the bedroom." The museum never came to be, with the building later hit by Allied bombs in 1944 and then demolished.
In response to Bailey's discoveries, the Van Gogh Museum told Dutch broadcaster NOS that it, "would be interesting if the bed is actually found".
"We'll closely follow the investigations," the museum said.
On his return to Paris in 1886 he met artists such as Degas, Gauguin and Seurat, and as a result lightened the colours he used.
In 1888 Van Gogh settled in Arles in Provence, where he was visited by Gauguin and painted his now famous series of 'Sunflowers'.
Van Gogh's own title for this composition was simply The Bedroom (French: La Chambre à coucher). There is not anything else in this room with closed shutters.
There are three authentic versions described in his letters, easily discernible from one another by the pictures on the wall to the right. The square pieces of furniture must express unswerving rest; also the portraits on the wall, the mirror, the bottle, and some costumes.
Van Gogh is today one of the most popular of the Post-Impressionist painters, although he was not widely appreciated during his lifetime.
He is now famed for the great vitality of his works which are characterised by expressive and emotive use of brilliant colour and energetic application of impastoed paint.
The painting depicts van Gogh's bedroom at 2, Place Lamartine in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France, known as the Yellow House. The white colour has not been applied to the picture, so its frame will be white, aimed to get me even with the compulsory rest recommended for me.
The door to the right opened on to the upper floor and the staircase; the door to the left was that of the guest room he held prepared for Gauguin; the window in the front wall looked on to Place Lamartine and its public gardens. I have depicted no type of shade or shadow; I have only applied simple plain colours, like those in crêpes." This version has on the wall to the right miniatures of van Gogh's portraits of his friends Eugène Boch and Paul-Eugène Milliet.
Bailey, therefore, contacted the son of Jo's nephew in 2015, Johan van Gogh, then aged 93; he recalled the bed had been donated to inhabitants near Arnhem in 1945, later tracked down as the small town of Boxmeer, which Bailey believes may be where the bed still survives to this day, with its owner likely completely unaware of its history.