You are here:

Collectibles-General (Antiques)/what was this table used for and value


QUESTION: I got this table at a yard sale today. Looks like one end is a seat to sit on. There is a drawer underneath that opens from each side. One end has raised wood around it and there are 3 distinct squares on one end, obviously meant to hold something but i have no idea what. Thank you!

ANSWER: It is a coffee table that was patterned after the old cobblers benches.  This was called early American style in the 1930-60s and many variations were manufactured and sold.

The wood is most likely maple but without seeing a close clear picture of the dgrain I cannot be certain.

Is there a label underneath and was there anything else you wanted to know?  Usually these sell in resale shops or antique malls around 125 depending on the condition.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much! Just one more question. What was the purpose of the 3 squares in the corner on top of table? Just decoration? Seems like they were made for something specific.

being this is a loose reproduction of a cobblers bench the compartments would have held tools or/and parts.

to explain, a cobblers bench wasnt a bench as we think of a bench today for sitting an sipping tea.  a cobblers bench was a working bench.  the cobbler would have sat at the seat part and would have had implements for making or repairing shoes and boots.  these implements might have been in a drawer under the bench, in the tray compartments and perhaps a last attached to the bench as well.

google 'cobblers bench 1820' and you will see what i mean. do keep in mind that there will be tables like yours sold as old cobblers benches but they are only reproductions made in the 1950s.

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

Past/Present Clients

©2016 All rights reserved.