New in this month is this Regency period metamorphic mahogany extending dining table of Wilkinson patent type. These were ingeniously designed ‘metamorphic’ mahogany dining tables, complete with extra leaves, which closed to form a fold-over side table of compact form. This type of patented dining table, first advertised in 1807 by the cabinet-making firm of Wilkinson & Sons of Brokers Row, later Ludgate Hill, London, were created in order to occupy little space when not in use .
The folding-top D-end side table with reeded edges, opens with a hinged action, with a brass-mounted ‘concertina’ or scissor-action carriage beneath which pulls open and extends to accommodate the two extra leaves. The original leaves are of equal size, all with conforming reeded edges. The front of the closed table has a frieze with turned paterae mouldings and is raised on reeded legs capped with brass castors.
Thomas and William Wilkinson were cousins who ran a cabinet making firm at No.’s 9 & 10, Broker’s Row in Moorfields, London during the period 1790-1808. They were most renowned for the specialist production of patent tables, and extending dining tables in particular, which in their own words could occupy ‘a space considerable smaller than is necessary for the standing of any other dining table now in use’. The Wilkinson partnership ceased in 1808 when William left the firm in order to set up his own company at 14 Ludgate Hill while Thomas continued to operate in the same capacity, albeit on his own, until 1828