Picture This LI

Bonhams have a number of interesting items coming up in The Oak Interior sale in Oxford on the 13th of May, 2015.

One lot that caught my eye is this early seventeenth-century oak ship’s table (lot 106).

Chas_I_oak_drop-leaf_ships_table_c1640_01aCharles I oak drop-leaf ship’s table, circa 1640. (Bonhams)

Large circular oak tables of this style and period are common enough; however, manhandling one up and down a ship’s gangway – or within the ship itself – would have been virtually impossible. The solution was to make a demountable table in two or more sections that, once onboard, could be manoeuvred within the ship’s confines as required.

The table illustrated above is just such a table: The removable top has four elliptical drop leaves which fold to form a compact square. The top rails and upper, square leg sections form another component, while the bottom rails and baluster turned portions of the legs make up the last constituent.

Several of these early maritime tables are known to exist including examples in Southwold Church, Suffolk; the Governor’s Palace, Colonial Williamsburg; and the Chapter House, Manchester Cathedral (which reputedly came from Bramshill Park, Hampshire).

The table carries an estimate of £8,000-12,000 (AU$16,000-23,000).

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Maritime Furniture, Picture This and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Picture This LI

  1. Eric R says:

    Are those slight indentations on the forefront bottom rail where the master would rest his feet while dining?
    (Historical wear-patterns are always an extra in my book.)
    Nicely preserved piece given the age.
    Thank you Jack


  2. Tim Caveny says:

    How would the leaves have been supported when in the “up” position? Perhaps a sliding or pivoting arm built into the upper rail?
    The endless ingenuity of our predecessors is wonderful.


    • Jack Plane says:

      Each leaf is supported on a loper which is withdrawable when the leaves are raised. If you enlarge the image, you can see the ends of the lopers in the gap between top and leaves.



I welcome your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s