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Antique Furniture/Demilune Table or Card Table


QUESTION: I inherited this table, our Great Grndparents bought it on their honeymoon in 1905.
Supposedly they purchased it at an antique shop. Can you determine the age?
I think the top looks like tiger maple/oak? It has no marks what so ever on it.
Is it right to call it a demilune? Or card table?
Can you tell me what the value of this table would be?
And how should I care for it?  I do not think it has ever been refinished.
Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: the top is bees wing mahogany veneer.
these are generally called game tables.  demilune is a half round table.  use only wax, either briwax in the antique mahogany color or johnsons floor paste wax.  that all to use.

use the follow up function and post a picture of the underneath and of the back of the tops so i can see the hinges.

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QUESTION: Thank you Robert,
I do see some marks now that I turned it over
On the front center edge there is a number 2307.
On the back, where the legs hinge out to support the top in the opened
position, is carved into the wood, the number 11.
I am afraid all hinges are broken; but appear to some sort of cast metal
Thank you, Carol

The hinge used on this game table is called a Soss hinge.  The patent was filed in 1928. Although Joseph Soss came up with the idea when traveling back from the Philippines on a 30 day voyage after the Spanish American war I cannot trace, nor, have I ever been able to find out through research when they became common place in the furniture manufacturing trade.  They were first used in construction and the automotive industry.  some of the written history from the Soss company is contradictory and claims to have been making the hinge for 100 years. it is a stretch since he is said to have made the first one on his trip back from Manilla while on the ship--according to the company run by his heirs--but other sources say he made the drawings on the trip.  This is more palatable and fits with with the patents much easier as the patent was filed in late 20s.  Go figure, i guess it is advertising at its best.

Even without the soss hinge, which we do see in many tables of this form, this table, if purchased in 1905 could have been a second hand table highly unlikely it was made prior to 1890.  Possible but not probable.  Most that were done with the characteristics of yours were 1900 at the very earliest but more commonly done from 1910-40.  However, that yours has the two rear legs that are called gate legs tells us this is not the 1920-40 versions as this was an earlier configuration in the manufactured tables like this.  Yours is manufactured in the Sheraton style with the reeded and turned legs, the shaped top with the swelled front, and the rear gate legs.  Very characteristic of he super fine ones built in the early 1800s that bring high dollar.

Replacing the hinges should be no problem as they are still manufactured the same.
It would not hurt the value of this table to replace hinges and clean it up with Briwax in the antique mahogany color.  Strictly based on age and style this table as shown would bring around 300 retail in a store, if restored PROPERLY the retail pricing would start at 750 although the insurance replacement value would be 1500-1800.  AFter proper restoration.  

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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