A battle hardened furniture vet like shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen it all. Done it all. Been exposed to things that would break the average furniture enthusiast. Then it happens, I see something that I’ve never seen before. This happened last Friday at the large outdoor antiques festival. I saw something that made me stop and say “That’s different.” Three times.

The first is a hinge that is a combination pintle and snipe (cotter pin) hinge. It was on this piece. It is a semi-authentic 17th century Italian corner cabinet. The antique frame and door were grafted onto a replacement back and sides. The corner cabinet was from a local castle. The work was done by a local vintage craftsman. (In his picture, he didn’t look old enough to be antique.) All this information came from the dealer. She seemed sincere. And she had pictures.

An old facade with a new cabinet back.

An old facade with a new cabinet back.

How to describe the hinge? Take a cotter pin with a short pin in the loop. Drive it into the frame with the pin pointing up. Drive the other cotter pin into the door so that the loop of the cotter pin rides on the pin in the frame. Like this:

Outside view.

Outside view.

Inside view.

Inside view.

Amazing!

The next is another pintle hinge variant. On a typical pintle hinge, there is a pin on the frame that supports the loop on the door. As above. This cabinet had the reverse, a loop on the carcass onto which the pins on the doors hang.

Interesting old cabinet. Hinges don't seem to come from a factory.

Interesting old cabinet. Hinges don’t seem to come from a factory.

The hinges look something like this:

Look, a hinge!

Look, a hinge!

and this:

A repair?

A repair?

I like the handle as well.

What a nice handle...

What a nice handle…

And finally, dovetails from another person that forgot to read the book. I’m pretty sure they did this one pins first. Can’t be sure how they transferred the pins.

A dovetailed bench!

Just not what you expected.

Just not what you expected.

And another view:

Eh, not what I expected/

Eh, not what I expected/

Here is my bonus oddity, a first generation Workmate®.

Billed as a shaker broom maker's bench. Or so they claim...

Billed as a shaker broom maker’s bench. Or so they claim…