English Round Dining Table with 12 Extension Leaves
Circa Mid-19th Century
Mahogany

Condition upon arrival:

This dining table proved an impressive piece of furniture on all fronts. With 12 extension leaves, its diameter reached to 132 inches when fully extended. Further, a telescopic screw mechanism (patented in 1861 by Samuel Hawkins of Bishopsgate, London) made the project all the more ambitious…and worthwhile. Numerous areas would need attention, including structural concerns like an unstable table base due to loose joinery and extension glides. Several portions of veneer were delaminating at the table apron and finish had become discolored and scratched with wear. Along with a broken extension mechanism, the 12 leaves were warped with some entirely separated at seams. The table’s signature expansive diameter was splitting, marring the aesthetic, functionality, and integrity of the piece.

Treatment:

Treatment by Bernacki & Associates was nearly as ambitious as the table’s design, itself. In order to clean adhesive from joints and tighten glides, the whole piece was disassembled. The broken crank mechanism was lubricated and broken bracket welded. Spits were secured with proper adhesive and wooden butterfly reinforcements with leaves adjusted to fit overall design. With a final layer of English polish offering consistent sheen and color, this remarkable table was now complete.

 After being treated for warping and expansion cracks, extension leaves are aligned back in place

After being treated for warping and expansion cracks, extension leaves are aligned back in place

 A French polishing pad is used to apply shellac in circular strokes with conservators working to quickly coat the table before the shellac sets

A French polishing pad is used to apply shellac in circular strokes with conservators working to quickly coat the table before the shellac sets

 Detail of screw mechanism patented in 1861 by Samuel Hawkins of Bishopsgate, London; before conservation

Detail of screw mechanism patented in 1861 by Samuel Hawkins of Bishopsgate, London; before conservation

 Central section of the telescopic screw mechanism prior to treatment

Central section of the telescopic screw mechanism prior to treatment

 An intricate piece of machinery, the entire crank is taken apart for cleaning and lubrication

An intricate piece of machinery, the entire crank is taken apart for cleaning and lubrication

 Splits are secured with adhesive and butterfly reinforcements, returning the table to its functional state

Splits are secured with adhesive and butterfly reinforcements, returning the table to its functional state

 Detail of restored table top with all the extension leaves aligned in place

Detail of restored table top with all the extension leaves aligned in place