Oak Table With Hinged

Early seventeenth century. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Fig. 169. YEW TREE TABLE.

Top, 2 ft. 4 ins. by i ft. 7 ins. 2 ft. 4 ins. high. Date about 1660.

H. Clifford Smith, Esq.

Fig. 168-APPLE WOOD TABLE.

Top, 2 ft. 7 ins. by 1 ft. 9 ins. 2 ft. 2 ins. high.

Date about 1630.

sixteenth century, although Fig. 149 is certainly a guardroom table, and of seventeenth-century date.

This shuffleboard table from Astley Hall, Chorley, Lancashire, could be described at considerable length were not the illustrations given here almost self-explanatory. The game of shuffle-, or shovel-board, is one of great antiquity in England, and persists, in remote country districts, to this day, under another name. It is rare, however, to find tables especially constructed for the game, such as this Astley Hall example. Very few are known to exist. The top of the table was generally marked out in squares, with varying numbers, and the play

Fig. 169. YEW TREE TABLE.

Top, 2 ft. 4 ins. by i ft. 7 ins. 2 ft. 4 ins. high. Date about 1660.

  1. Clifford Smith, Esq.
  2. 168-APPLE WOOD TABLE.

Top, 2 ft. 7 ins. by 1 ft. 9 ins. 2 ft. 2 ins. high.

Date about 1630.

H. Clifford Smith, Esq.

er, standing at the end, placed a wooden disc, about three inches, or less, in diameter, at the extreme edge, with a portion hanging over. With a smart blow of the open palm, the disc was impelled up to the table, if possible into the square division bearing the highest number. A disc, too vigorously struck, would travel the entire length, and would fall into the box at the end, shown in the illustration. At a later date the disc was placed on the table and struck with a " mast" or implement something like a modern billiard cue, with a small cross-piece at its end. The earliest game of billiards (of which shuffleboard is probably the direct progenitor), was played with a mast instead of a cue, but in those days the use of chalk to prevent slipping of the cue-top on its contact with the ball, was unknown. The top of this table is constructed of a light framing or lipping, with an elaborate parqueterie, or herring-boning of thin oak pieces, the idea being to ensure a flat and level top. There are no squares or other divisions, the winner being he whose disc was the nearest to the verge of the box at the end. Two of the brass discs used, which appear to be original, still exist with the table, in size and form very similar to a flat brass four-ounce weight.

Both illustrations show only one side of the table, with its pierced panels shown in larger detail in Figs. 152 to 160, arranged in their correct progression. The other side has the double border which can be seen in the end view, Fig. 151, carried along its length. There must have been always an important as well as an unimportant side to this table. There is no question that it is in the gallery for which it was made, as it cannot be taken to pieces without breaking it apart, nor can it be moved out of the house where it is, without demolishing one of the walls. It was made for this gallery, put together in its position, and here it has remained ever since. The presence of the lion and unicorn in the section shown in Fig. 156 shows that it is a Stuart, not a Tudor table. The carving is quaint with devices and grotesques, many of which probably possess a real significance, and a personal application to the original owner for whom the table was made.

The date of this table,- that is the actual period at which it was made, as distinct from the inception of the fashion which it exhibits in the turning of the legs and the carving of the frieze, is somewhat obscure, and does not really concern us here, as dates stated in these pages are those of the birth of styles or the introduction of new details, not of the manufacture of the pieces themselves. Mr. Christopher Hussey, in "Country Life" (February 25th, 1922)j while admitting that from the point of

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