Just when you think we know everything about gaming tables, more information surfaces. I was at the preview of a local auction house when I came across this rather chunky example:
Georgian Game Table
Description: 19th century, mahogany, mahogany veneer, oak secondary, unusual dual hinged top with storage compartment, gate leg, cabriole legs with pad foot.
Most game tables have some style or elegance, not this one.The heavy apron and the graceless pad feet lack a pleasing aesthetic.
But that’s not why I called you here.
It is a four-legged table with the fourth leg being a traditional gate leg:
Note the sprung hinge on the right side. This is important.
The hinge is still sprung. Also note the screws on the lower table surface.
What caused the crack? The lower table section is hinged to the frame covering the storage below:
This isn’t the only design challenge. If one tries to access the storage area with the table closed, the sections stacked, when the sections are opened beyond around 30°, the table falls over. Empirically determined. The table is not very deep and when the weight is shifted too far to the back, bad things happen. If I recalled my vector analysis, I could calculate the tipping point.
I did not bid on this table.
On a more positive note, I found two examples of another method of table support. I reveal to you the extension gaming table:
I found the above at the Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza.
A few hours later I found this one at a Raleigh consignment shop:
On the back rail was this label:
The dealer believes that these tables are from the 1930’s. A search for the patent shows that Patent 2,153,262 was granted April 4, 1939. There were simple practical and novel improvements in extension tables in Patent 2,316,448 on April 14, 1943.
I couldn’t find much on the Big Rapid Furniture Mfg. Co. of Big Rapids, Michigan other than by their own admission they are Manufacturers of Medium Priced Furniture. They obviously survived beyond 1939.