From the mechanical to the biological, the philosophical to the sociological we have surrounded ourselves with mechanisms. Systems that we have discovered and created to better understand and live our lives. Today we are pleased to highlight vintage mechanisms associated with the engineering of functional furniture, which still has a place in the home today.
One of the most functional and intriguing pieces in store today is the ‘rise & fall’ dumb waiter/buffet table. This wonderfully simple mahogany design circa 1840 allows the three tiers to converge and convert into a side table. This effortless motion is achieved using telescopic arms and counterbalanced weights, housed in the legs. A small force applied with the thumbs allows the table to rapidly expand or contract creating additional tiers for serving.
Another space saving gem ideal for traditionalists in the urban landscape is the ‘envelope’ card table circa 1900. This beautiful marquetry inlaid rosewood table unfolds from the centre revealing a spacious green baize playing surface for 4, with the corners housing a storage area for each player. Simply turn the table top, which moves across a hidden button to elevate one of the four leafs; opening the envelope.
Another aid to the dining experience and a new addition to the shop is this fabulous circular rosewood dining table with lazy a Susan mechanism lying flush at its centre. Originally produced by Merrow & Associates for Heal’s in the 1970’s.
This ingenious mechanism is thought to be a Japanese invention adopted by the British through colonialism, allowing those seated to access food at hard to reach places on the table by spinning the platter in the centre.
Last but not least we have one of the oldest and most common mechanisms in use today; the rack and pinion, which have been utilized with a crank to create this innovative adjustable upcycled table. Simply turn the handle and the exchange of gears will allow the height of the table to be raised or lowered by up to 60cm. making this table ideally suited to a host of different situations.