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Guest Nicoleb

1912 American game table found in basement

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Guest Nicoleb

Hi, I found this intricate game table recently. I flipped it over and saw writing “From BF ZOLLERS? Dec 24, 1912” It needs a lot of TLC. It is inlaid on the top a chess board. And lots of small pieces which were tacked into the sides and legs. I’m trying to do research on it. Can anyone help me with what this style would be? I am unable to find BF ZOLLER but found the Talbert-Zoller Lumber Co of that time period in Cincinnati Ohio. The very bottoms of the legs are uneven because it looks like some have rotten away and the table is unsturdy, I think it needs to be put back together and reenfored by an expert, certainly not me. Many small pieces are missing but everything is there for someone who has the skill to reproduce and restore this awesome piece.

- I’m trying to upload photos from image hosting websites but it’s not allowing me, any suggestions?

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download the picture to your device (pc or phone) then upload directly to this site using the "paperclip" area directly below where you enter text.

 

1966861165_2018-12-0207_46_40-1912Americangametablefoundinbasement-IntroduceYourself-ThePatriotWo.png.c4fd65cd2e295484e50c080895a2281c.png

 

If you are still having trouble, let me know.

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Not sure why you don't see it but I can see the web picture and I have uploaded it for you-

45419741224_f695908ef7_k.jpg.b663100de7cdde04e0a95f680accda6b.jpg

 

44326787270_861e4f8a55_o.jpg.860bce1bc2bc0a8106967f0c768b9893.jpg

 

I think you are looking at a "one off" piece made by a craftsman of that day. Finding him (her) may require a genealogy search. 

 

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Possibly, Mr Zoller of that lumber co. made it. Whatever it's lineage, this awesome piece certainly deserves loving restoration. 

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38 minutes ago, lew said:

I think you are looking at a "one off" piece made by a craftsman of that day. Finding him (her) may require a genealogy search. 

I agree with Lew it's likely a handmade piece. Based on the date and "From", I'd guess it likely was intended as a Christmas gift. The table itself appears to be mahogany. No doubt the old hide glue has become become dried out & brittle as has the wood causing the joints to loosen.

 

A beautiful table and well worth having restored IMO.

 

BTW, welcome to The Patriot Woodworker, Nicole. We'd love to have you register as a member to continue sharing the journey and history of your table. Once registered you should be able to load pictures directly from your device(s).

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Nicole is now a member so her posts and pictures will reflect her membership..   welcome aboard. 

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Hi Nicole, and Welcome to The Patriot Woodworker!

 

I believe what you have there is an early 20th century game table.

Could you provide a complete view of the table top?

If I'm not mistaken the outer edge around the chess/checker board is set up for playing another game.

My neighbor that owns an Antique Mall has had a few of these type game tables, one was complete with the game pieces that would get stored in a matching wood box that fit on the lower shelf.

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It would be a beautiful piece if it was restored, but I might have an antique expert look at it before doing anything. Could be worth a lot more in its present condition. As indicated by Lew,it could be just a one of a kind piece,made by an unknown craftsman of the day. The writing seems to say who gifted the table, not necessarily who built the table

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The finish on the table is really pretty good and just dirty.  A little paste wax or Briwax some and TLC would probably restore it quite nicely. 

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I’m an Ancestry member and I searched on a B. F. Zollers in Pennsylvania and didn’t find one.  I did however find an F. B. Zollers In Norristown, PA in a city directory for 1912.  He was listed as a laborer. 

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That's cool that you were able to do that, Don. If it is the same guy and, if he did build that table, "laborer" doesn't quite fit. 

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 Possible a lot of job titles were changed at Ellis island in those days,just from the need to keep the lines moving. Some guys were called Tony because the tag on their coat said "To NY".:ChinScratch:

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funny thing is, people buy appliances and cars, and after some period of time, they either wear out and need to be replaced, or their "style" changes (oooh...this one is red, not blue), and they get a new one at great cost.

 

but they perhaps buy something that is handmade for a few dollars, and it gets chipped/cracked/finish wears off, and they want it made better, right now, for no cost....because they know who made it.  amazing.

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1 hour ago, DAB said:

but they perhaps buy something that is handmade for a few dollars, and it gets chipped/cracked/finish wears off, and they want it made better, right now, for no cost....because they know who made it.  amazing. 

I am completely lost with that statement Dab, it's confusing to me. How does this apply to the table featured in this topic? Not slamming ya, I am genuinely trying to understand the comment is all, help me oh wise one!:)

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it seems to me that people expect factory made items to have a finite life, and then you repair or more likely replace what you bought from ACME, Inc.

 

but these same people expect handmade items, such as things we make out of wood, to have infinite lives.  106 year old table, eh, it should be good for another 50 years if we just fix it up a bit.

 

at some point, you've repaired something so much, that nothing original remains.  original patina is gone, new legs, new top.

 

it's like the story of grandpa's axe:  it's his original axe, we've only had to replace the handle 6 times and the head 3 times.  but it's original!

 

this old table is no doubt interesting.  but instead of investing time and money trying to fix it up better than new, why not consider making a new one, with lessons learned from the old one.  if it's still usable, then clean it and use it.  if not, move on.

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Understood, but, I feel we should respect her desire to fix it up and make it nice again, she did not say she wanted to make it new again, just useful basically. I don't think Nicole had any expectations other than seeing if it was repairable, it just seemed you were reading an awful lot into her simple inquiry is all. I think the message we want to send to our new members should be a very welcome one, and one that is very supportive of their goals, if she wants to repair and refinish, or find someone who will, then we should support Nicole in her quest. Unless of course the piece was a complete lost case, then we should let her know to not spend any time on it, but in this case, it is completely salvageable, and she obviously appreciates this work, so I say, we help all we can.

With mucho respect Dab to you, I just see her inquiry differently is all, thanks for your explanation.

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