decided preference both as to simplicity and firmness when they are set up. The steps may be put up in half-a-minute, and the whole may be taken down and enclosed writhin the table frame in about the same time. The table, when enclosed, serves as a library table, and has a rising flap, supported by a horse, to write on."
At the first glance, this piece might hastily be pronounced a useless example of extravagant eccentricity, but a more careful examination will show that it is nothing of the sort. The design and construction of the whole thing are dominated by sterling common sense. The same idea was worked out by Sheraton in a smaller form, in connection with his " Pembroke" tables, "which," he says, "are considerably more simple than those already described ; and, although not so generally useful, will come vastly cheaper."
We have still more inventive furniture on Plate VI., where, among similar novelties, we find, in Fig. 5, another most ingenious contrivance described as a "Harlequin Table," which " serves not only as a breakfast but also as a writing-table, very suitable for a lady." Sheraton gives a reason for the description applied to this piece by explaining : " It is termed a 'Harlequin Table' for no other reason but because, in exhibitions of that sort, there is generally a great deal of machinery introduced in the scenery." In view of the meagreness of this explanation, and judging by the knowledge we possess of the strict religious views held by Sheraton, it is fair to assume that this " methodist preacher, worn-out, with threadbare coat," had probably never witnessed a pantomime, and was, therefore, ignorant of the fact that, in the Harlequinade, the principal figure, from which that extravagance takes its name, usually makes his appearance by shooting up through a trap-door in the centre of the stage, as does the nest of drawers and " pigeon holes " in the table ln question when opened. Hence the name, of course.
By a clever arrangement, these drawers, etc., were made
Was this article helpful?