Harlequin tables initially enjoyed popularity from the second quarter of the eighteenth-century. Several examples are known to have been made by John Channon and Thomas Potter – both esteemed London cabinetmakers.
The tables’ tri-fold tops (fig. 1) successively open to reveal a tea table and games table. The (normally) leather-lined games tables also double as writing tables and to that end, a leaf-spring assisted (or occasionally weight-driven) writing compartment can be released to rise out of the tables’ typically deep carcases (figs. 2 & 3).
Harlequin tables are not uncommon, however, the harlequin chest below may well be unique.