A walnut miniature Games Table.
The book-matched figured walnut, boxwood and satinwood inlay with ebonized lozenges and moulding not only makes this a very decorative piece but also shows the exceptional ability of the cabinet maker. The top swivels round on a bolt to rest at a right angle to the base and so provide support when it is opened to double in size. The opened top has a red, black and gilt leather inset games board for chess or draughts & checkers. Underneath the top is an inlaid recess to hold 24 counters for playing. The legs are cut out of the solid with decorative fretwork and boxwood stringing. They are interesting for their construction with the boxwood laminated between 2 pieces of figured walnut. Aside from adding decoration, the process has also strengthened the legs which would have weak points where the grain runs horizontally. The feet sit on white ceramic balls perhaps to give the appearance of castors.
The design of the table is very similar to a full-sized version of the period but it is difficult to determine if it is a salesman’s sample or a novelty sized but very useable games table. What is in no doubt though is the quality of the woods used and the cabinet work. Circa 1870.
Size to play is given.