Hess Drop-Leaf Table
George Hess, New York, New York c. 1880
Clever cabinetmakers of the nineteenth century sometimes patented their designs, lending an added notion of invention to the art of cabinetmaking. Rarely do these creations withstand the practical test of time. This unusual and quite distinctive side table features a simple yet substantial gate leg support that automatically extends as its drop leaf sides are opened.
Useful and attractive as a console with carved fretwork ends when collapsed, the leather-topped piece forms a handsome octagon when opened. This well constructed piece is documented by its patent and is branded twice – one on each of its two drawers.