This fantastic one-of-a-kind Folk Art Game Table is the sort of jaw dropping creation collectors are always searching for and rarely find. The artist who created this labor of love carefully cut and arranged thousands of pieces of many different hardwoods, encompassing four elaborately carved and stippled 'directional' markers commonly used in many card games, and a checker or chess board in the center. The 'directionals' (North, South, East, and West) are spelled out with the first letters rendered in a naive interpretation of a fancy Gothic font... but the best thing is the whimsical 'dollar sign' ($) in place of the "S" in South... a fabulous idiosyncratic, folksy touch.
The apron of the table is reeded and the legs are nicely turned. The original varnish has alligatored slightly in places which gives it the kind of patina you'd hope to find. And the inlay work is all very well done.
CONDITION is terrific. The table is sturdy with no wobble. There was a repair to the top of one leg which is glued and screwed, and there is a chip on the ring of one of the leg turnings. There are a few minor scuffs and rings on the top finish, undoubtedly the result of many raucous games played around this table... these can't really be seen under most conditions, but I've included a picture in dramatically raking light to reveal them. None of these issues diminish the 'WOW' factor of this piece, they're just part of its history now. Circa 1900 give or take. Measures 28" tall to the top. My husband can sit at it comfortably on a chair whose seat is 17" off the floor, a standard height. The top measures 28 1/8" square overall with the gaming square in the center of the table measuring 11 1/4" square.
Those of us who love Americana and Folk Art get a huge charge out of a piece like this. And although it may not help your skill at checkers or cards, I guarantee, win or lose, you'll smile every time you see it. Enjoy!
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