Antique Table in an Amateur's Hands: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.


And back to the re-purposed cutlery cum Lewis chessmen case … a rather dodgy felt job - some foam in the lid (to press down on the pieces to keep them more snug) - and another coat of finishing oil on the lid … soon I’ll re-assemble.

In the photo below, the lid is currently just resting on the base … I’ll reattach hinges in due course.

Not now but later / I might put some nice fabric on the foam as it is removable.


Hey and that glitch in the photos …on an iPhone via the browser - if you press and hold the photo it flicks it to full view.


I hope I’ve honoured whoever made this table and pieces. I think the pieces are a one-off. Made by caring, creative and amateur hands, many many years ago. The table hand-made too - with simple mid-century type appeal. Whether the pieces were made by the same hands as the table - we’ll never know.

When I purchased it - the table was a disaster … peeling, faded paint … I was hoping to sand back and reveal lovely different timbers but alas, no - the squares were painted on a flat piece of wood.

So with surplus boards and a beautiful Melbourne day, I decided to sand and oil the table and felt the top and match with a board. I think it’s beautiful and whoever you are that made it all those years ago - I hope you’re happy. I am … the table and pieces live on.


The question begs as to why I didn’t repaint the table to its original intent. My decision was purely stylistic and function. The black felt allows the table to stand alone for drinks, cards etc…. The second board fits nicely and the black ‘moat’ created by felt locks quite classy, in the flesh. Should I ever want to fully restore the board to its original painted form - I could remove the felt and paint in future. However, I doubt that’ll I’ll ever do that.


Good decision. The board fits perfectly, as if the meant to be used together. happy


Not an antique but fun nonetheless … this small board 30cm*30cm with 3.3cm squares fits my tiny little chess set beautifully. The board was $3 at a thrift store - heavy and solid for its small size and if I was to guess - perhaps was paired with a tourist set from somewhere like Africa? Who knows … but with a sand and the application of finishing oil, it’s a lovely little study board when paired with these tiny but weighted pieces. The first photo is the only ‘before’ shot I have.
After … below:
Just a bit of fun 👍



Fun indeed! I might add, "and good for one's soul" as well. The feeling experienced when refurbishing and breathing new life into what once was itself a living, growing, and thriving tree cannot be adequately described in mere words, it can only be discovered. Well done my friend. This is another example of the meaning behind my motto, "Enjoy the Journey." 


Amazing … the interaction between light and wood. Here, the sun sets a board on fire!🔥
Not a bad board for less than the cost of a latte, and then a bit of a sand and oil. 👍


Powder, pretty soon I see you with your own website, displaying your chess related objects of beauty.


I didn’t take any before photos (sorry - forgot) but this box was picked up from hard rubbish. It was scratched, had stickers on it but the lid looked ok. I sanded back, applied some beeswax oil, felted the bottom, and inside top and bottom. I then tried my St Petersburg Repro’s and almost a perfect fit. I added some green foam for a snug fit when the lid is closed. I love it. Here are the pieces purposely tight on a reconditioned board - my sense is that - back in the early 20th century - when these pieces were played … people preferred tighter boards. I really like this combo - a live game with my friend Till.


Very nice indeed, and tulips in bloom as an added bonus!


Love that set, Mark. And your work fixing up old stuff and making it into wonderful chess things is remarkable.

BTW, the set looks great on that board (I like slightly crowded setups). The bases are a bit crowded, but the thin bodies of the pieces allow for it.

Thanks for sharing the pics.