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An outstanding rare one of a kind American Victorian Chinoiserie Carved Dining Room Suite, Circa 1880s. Made from mahogany with a meticulous high relief Chinese Oriental dragon carved theme throughout. The suite features, a large hutch, 12 chairs, extendable dining table, server and dry bar. Each piece is detailed in a myriad of lavish hand carvings including, four toed dragons, phoenixes, bats, figures, foliate, clouds and scholarly scrolls. The dining table was crafted with flexibility in mind expanding from its round form via a Joseph Fitter hand crank to accompany three additional leaves. Considering size and craftmanship this suite is an exquisite example of Victorian master craftsmanship.
Along the top of the pagoda form hutch is Chinese calligraphy. This translates to 風/fēng/: wind, 調/tiáo/:harmonize,雨/yǔ/:rain, 順/shùn/:follow; obey. This idiom means favorable weather (for crops to grow), and a prosperous and smooth life.
The period between 1880 and 1920 is often regarded as the “golden age” of American furniture craftsmanship. Overall prosperity following the American Civil War gave rise to wealthier families, larger homes and, hence, a desire for larger, more ornate furnishings for those homes.
Winding mechanism for extending tables were first made in the early 19th century. A man by the name of Samuel Hawkins applied for a patent on a screw expander on June 6th, 1861. Presumably, Mr. Hawkins either died or retired because his business was taken over by a young machinist named Joseph Fitter in 1864. Joseph Fitter operated a machinist shop where he produced winding mechanisms for extending tables as well as screw expanders for piano stools and other applications at 210 Cheapside, Birmingham England by the name of Britannia Works.
Good Antique Condition; Wear commensurate with age. Some surface marks and edge wear. Split to table top.
20" x 21" x 48", seat 21"; arms 26" x 25" x 48", seat 21.5"
116" x 54" x 31"h open, closed 54"d, leaves 21" each
106.5"h x 81.5"w x 26.5"d
22.5" x 37" x 32"h
24" x 17" x 29"h