Monday, October 03, 2011
New Dining Room Table!
Here's the only before picture that I have, from the sale. The table is in the middle, topped with random chairs and this beautiful golden horse clock (wonder who lucked out and ended up with that gem?).
My parents, having also recently acquired an old table from the other side of the family, tracked down a furniture restorer in St. Peter and had that table refinished (that should be a whole other blog post on its own!). Once we saw the work that was done on that table, we had them take ours in to be restored, as well. One month later, this is what we now have in our dining room!
Here's what we know about the table: it was made by St. John's Table Co. in Cadillac, MI (as deduced from the brand label on the table's pedestal), and more than likely it was produced in 1909 (as deduced from a stamp of 09 underneath the tabletop), which would make it over 100 years old! The table top is quartersawn oak, which is a beautiful method that was popular during the late 1800s-early 1900s, as part of the American Arts & Crafts movement (same movement that generated all of those great Craftsman homes in the twin cities). So what is quartersawn oak, exactly? I had to google it, but the best explanation I can find is at The Barnyard Gazette. I'm stealing their image for a quick visual, because it's the best I've found:
Additionally, the edge of the table, right below the tabletop, is ridged, meaning that the oak was bent specially as it was shaped into an oval. This is also unique.
The table was found with 2 9-inch leaves, both of which were terribly warped and I was afraid they were beyond repair. Fortunately, the furniture restorer works with a woodworker, who was able to save them. Better yet, when my mom went to pick up the table, they showed her that the pedestal that the tabletop sits upon actually splits into two by a unique mechanism. She asked if the table perhaps would accommodate more leaves then, and they hadn't considered that. She hauled it up to my place last night, and sure enough, we can pull the table apart even farther than anticipated! The end result is that it can accommodate 3 more 9-inch leaves, which would give us an 8 foot long table! So, we're having them make us 3 new leaves to match the first two, which means we may have to do some fancy dinner parties this winter.
For now, we're using the chairs from our old dining room table (a hand-me-down from David's parents, which I realized yesterday I've had for 10 years - through college and grad school, up until now!). That table got moved down to the basement to be used as a winemaking center for the hubby. I'm looking forward to finding some fun chairs to go with the new table...although I'll have to keep a look out for a large number of them now that I will have an 8 foot long table! Can't wait for the official finished product, but right now I'm enjoying the beautiful new addition to our home! I'm off to buy some clear vinyl to cover it so that miss Mia doesn't immediately destroy it with food or crayons (I already found her on top of it this morning!).