This exemplary table is a custom creation done in our own on-site workshop to solve a designer’s dilemma. The project started with a 5′ long French draw-leaf table from the 1920′s. The table had two 19″ leaves, but would have looked diminutive in the client’s space unless the leaves were always left extended. Our solution was to use the petite table as the inspiration and chassis for a dining table on a much grander scale.
The first step was to completely disassemble the original table. The five parquet panels and leaves of the petite table were saved and one additional panel was built. Great care was taken to ensure that the newly made panel did not look out of place. Our craftsman analysed the grain and figure of the original walnut and selected boards to match the eighty year old parquet.
The original carved legs were saved, but the apron of the table needed to be extended significantly. The center and ends of the apron are original, for the remaining pieces the style and scalloping of the table sides were copied. Just like the original, the side pieces were painstakingly carved by hand. This was extremely time consuming, but the end result was a perfect match. Four of the carved shells on the apron are original and eight more were cast and added to the side pieces.
All of the new wood was hand distressed to mirror the aged look of the rest of the piece. The entire table was stripped and sanded to prepare it for a new finish. Using a mix of numerous stains and glazes the finish was brought back to its original hue. The piece was sealed with a pre-catalysed lacquer, rubbed by hand with fine steel wool and beeswax was hand applied to the entire table. The wax adds warmth and depth to the finish and is an authentic and, most importantly, a great-looking surface for a vintage table.
It is impossible for any observer to distinguish between the new and old parts of the finished table. The end result is a massive dining table that looks like it was made in the 1920′s. The designer and client are thrilled.