Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Workbench Purpose?

Posted by danielleonfire (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 12:29

I have recently acquired an antique bench (that my family has been calling a coffee table) and would like to know more about what it's original purpose might have been.
Contrary to what my family thinks, I don't believe it was originally a coffee table. There is a depression on the rounded end on the right of the photo that is more like a seat (wouldn't make sense for a coffee table to have a dip like that). I believe its design was for someone to sit on that end, facing towards the drawer and straddling the bench with legs in the curved edges on either side. The drawer is made to open to either right or left, and there are three shallow cubbies at the work end.
The bench belonged to my grandmother (b.1928-d.1955)in Texas. That's about all I know about it. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Workbench Purpose?

1950s "cobbler's bench" style table. Probably maple.

These were never used by cobblers, they were part of the huge revival of "Colonial" furniture right after WWII ... which included items and decorative details that the true colonists had never seen, and adaptations that weren't suitable for their intended use. It was marketing!

As a cobbler's bench, its legs are too delicate to last. As a coffee table, it's got that dent in it.

RE: Workbench Purpose?

Yup. Do a google image search for maple cobblers bench table and you'll see its kin, as well as some fun old ads. I think yours is nicer than most. They can be sort of gawky.

RE: Workbench Purpose?

Original purpose is a coffee table. The craze for colonial-era stuff to re-purpose outstripped the supply of originals, so manufacturers stepped in and started making furniture loosely based on antiques. I have a "wagon seat" coffee table from the 50's purportedly by Ethan Allen.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here