I see a lot of furniture. More than most, less than a few. Based on what I have witnessed, I have an expectation of how furniture is typically built. Like feet go between the base of a piece of furniture and the floor. Except when they are in a drawer:

Not where you expect to find feet.

Not where you expect to find feet.

Way back in March, I attended an auction preview and did my usual picture-taking thing. I must amuse them in that they put up with me. At this auction I saw several things that were not as they should be. I know how they should be. Did I mention that I see a lot of furniture?

The first two are desks with inappropriate dovetails. Carcass dovetails on your typical slant top desk looks like this:

Dovetails as expected.

Dovetails as expected. Just not all that regular.

The pins and tails are configured so that the top ties the two sides together, keeping them in their place relative to one another. Any other configuration wouldn’t make sense.

Meet the desk that defies expectation:

Looks normal from this distance.

Looks normal from this distance.

Inside is more or less typical:

More or less typical.

If there is any such thing as typical.

Then it gets interesting:

Somebody didn't read the manual.

Somebody didn’t read the best practices manual.

In this configuration, the sides tie the top to the bottom. In the event gravity fails? Or they install lifting eyes to hoist it to the upper floors.

As often happens when I find something unusual, I find a second on shortly thereafter. Or on the same day. Like this desk:

More alternate half-blind dovetails.

More alternative half-blind dovetails. Gotta keep the lid on this desk.

I do like that little detail at the front edge.

I do like that little detail at the front edge. An angled quarter pin?

The next defiant piece is this very nice bookshelf on desk:

A nice antique desk.

A nice antique desk.

Bookshelf in nicely executed:

Nice and conventional.

Nice and conventional.

The gallery in nicer than most:

More arches than typical.

More arches than typical.

But, again, things are not as they seem.

The ached center section is actually a drawer.

The ached center section is actually a drawer.

Next you have to figure out what is going on behind the drawer:

Nothing obvious.

Nothing obvious.

Turns out there is a T-shaped arched top panel:

Panel lifts right out.

Panel lifts right out.

Behind that:

Drawers.

Drawers.

Just to prove I am not overly fixated on desks and dovetails, there were also two unique gate leg tables. The first one turns in on itself:

Typically, the legs are on the outer edge and fold out toward the center.

Typically, the legs are on the outer edge and fold out toward the center.

This one is different:

Doesn't look stable tucked in.

Doesn’t look stable tucked in.

Hinges are all on the outside.

This configuration does give the apron a continuous appearance when opened. I wasn’t able to examine it more closely to see if there is a mechanism to form an apron at the far end when opened.

Last lesson of the day is this cabriole legged demilune table:

Unusually wide apron.

Unusually wide apron.

The cabriole leg is not unknown but the majority of gate leg tables are turned or tapered. The apron is unusually wide.

What really makes it odd is the appearance of there being three leaves: (or leafs. Active online debate as to which is correct.)

There are three leaves. Not sure how it works.

There are three leaves. All hinged. Not sure how it works.

I didn’t notice the leaves until I got home and looked at it. How do you unfold three semicircular leaves hinged at the edge? It would seem that you would end up with the center leaf sticking straight up perpendicular to the plane of the outer two.

This is going to require some thought…