Anyone Have Any Idea Who/Where/When This May Have Been Made??

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Blog entry by Christopher posted 01-29-2008 01:32 PM 852 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m new to the site but have been trying to research a table I just purchased at a community garage sale my wife was running at our church.

The top has Tiger Maple and another type of boarder that’s inlayed. The legs are intricately carved with a ball and claw. I stripped the 1/8 or so worth of polyurethane from the top and have cleaned off the skirts and legs. The depth of the grain is incredible and I’m planning hand-rubbed tung oil finish.

Any ideas on the origin of this thing? Chris

Even after cleaning, the legs are very dark (mahogany or walnut dark). The table is rock solid and really heavy for its size of 3’ x 4×17”.

Other table top
Ball and Claw Leg
Table w/a little water to show grain

11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 01-29-2008 01:57 PM

surely is a beautiful table

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3900 days

#2 posted 01-29-2008 02:06 PM

Garage sale—I am sensing a real bargain. That is a fine table.

View Christopher's profile


5 posts in 3797 days

#3 posted 01-29-2008 02:18 PM

I don’t know if anyone else noticed it because the polyurethane was badly chipped and marred… I had to look really closely to notice nothing was wrong with the table itself.. I paid $45 for it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#4 posted 01-29-2008 03:20 PM

If you only paid $45 for the table you definitely got a bargain. I love the inlay. It really adds a nice element to the table’s design.

I would like to see a post when you complete the refinishing. I am sure that it will be gorgeous.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4111 days

#5 posted 01-29-2008 04:11 PM

Having repaired a few of these tables myself. here is where to look. Turn the table over, and look on the underside of the top or along the back rail. Most manufactures will put their marks there. If you can’t find a maker’s mark underneith, that can mean one of two things. First, the manufacture used a paper lable (you may see where it was attached) or it was never marked. If there was no mark, it is almost impossible to determine origin. If you look closely at the photo of the ball you included, it seems a bit out of round. That would lead me to beleive that this table was not made in great numbers and may even be hand carved. I would have to look at it more closely. Another tell on the quality of the piece is the construction. Is the table top attached with clips or glue blocks? I could go on an on about this but in the end, I would have to see the peice in person. It is a beautiful table and worth much more than you paid for it. It is definately worth the effort to bring it back.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Christopher's profile


5 posts in 3797 days

#6 posted 01-29-2008 04:39 PM

Greg, thanks for the comments! I will check all you mentioned tonight.

The legs are a very hard wood and do appear to not be uniform (likely not machine made). I’ve re-finished a number of heirlooms my wife inherited but none were as detailed (or as rewarding) as this piece. Funny what people sell at garage sales…!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 01-29-2008 06:06 PM

Turn it over and see what is under the veneer top. The construction will always tell you the source. I see mitered corners and veneer. To me that means a substrate of plywood or MDF if it is modern. If it is very old it would have to have hand made plywood laminated in the shop or the top would have expansion and contraction problems. It looks very nice.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4102 days

#8 posted 01-29-2008 06:07 PM

You surely got a bargain, there! I like how you cleaned up some of the top to reveal the hidden beauty!

I am sure you will have an heirloom when you finish the jo!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3877 days

#9 posted 01-29-2008 11:49 PM

No idea about the history but it’s a nice piece of furniture. welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View DustyNewt's profile


671 posts in 3888 days

#10 posted 01-30-2008 12:21 AM

It is indeed a beautiful table, and from your description and photos, finely made. In my opinion, because of the height, it is a coffee table. Coffee tables did not enter into households until the twentieth century. So, without seeing the hardware and construction, that would be my starting point in dating the piece.
As for identifying the maker (I suppose you have already combed the piece for a label or signature of some kind) I can’t help you.
Judging from your pictures, the inlay and gadrooning are gorgeous, it is safe to say that it will be a fine antique one day. Probably worth at least ten times what you paid for it. I hope this helps you, Christopher.
And welcome to the community. There is a lot of positivity here.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Christopher's profile


5 posts in 3797 days

#11 posted 02-02-2008 04:19 AM

I really appreciate all of the input. This weekend for me is dedicated to finishing the table rejuvination (and watching the game, we live in Scottsdale but purposely didn’t get tickets…).

Just to let all y’all know, I have told my brother about your site (he is extremely tallented and can create/re-create virtually any piece, currently in to Frank Lloyd Wright maybe ‘cuz he was a local figure). He got those skills from my dad who created some absolutely incredible furniture when he decided to semi-retire. Dad’s accomplishments included a 7×5x4 solid chery armoire for my older sister and a solid cherry dove-tailed (no metal whatsoever) hopechest for my niece/his grandaughter. I actually may post shots of the chest he made for my (then yet-to-be-born) son from solid cherry, dovetailed drawers with mahogany accents with dowel drawer stops). His greatest ambition after being a very accomplished hydrolic engineer was to retire to Mayberry NC (Mt Ary from Cleveland) in a Lyndal (sp?) wood home.

IMHO, woodworking is a very intricate balance between art and science. In that regard, I totally enjoy breathing new life into old mis-understood and un appreciated pieces. I couldn’t, however, build one to save my life. My hat’s off to those of you who do/can. Cheers gentlemen. Chris

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