According to historian Paul Tucker, the Merklen Bros. Furniture Co. began using the patented woven fretwork designs of Moses Ransom as early as 1885 in their designs of "Spiral Furniture". Here is a relatively rare example of their work in a fanciful oak hall bench with a tilting mirror above. This piece incorporates their spiral turnings in the main framework of the piece and uses a rope twist molding inside the mirror frame. The beveled glass mirror is held in place by two threaded bolts on the end of the serpent hat hook. The top "hooks" are placed at a 45 degree angle and are the full body of the serpent. The arms of this bench are capped by two handsome cast heads. And the feet of the bench have the more traditional claw feet with the turned wood balls inside. The woven panel is the centerpiece of this bench and reflects the Ransom Moorish Fretwork which weaves long strands of spiral turnings into panels. None of these were ever broken which is amazing and an incredible feat just to turn something this long and thin. Here is an art form in furniture that is at it's peak with the partnership of these two firms. A very solid piece. All original fixtures.
Size ................ 80" Tall x 45" Wide (at the hooks) x 20" Deep Circa .................. 1885-90