Antique Dumbwaiter Tables



2015-06-26 11:16:05

Antique dumbwaiter tables are circular, two or three-tiered trays which are used to hold food, dishes or cutlery.

Brief history and description

Dumbwaiter tables were first produced in England sometime during the 1740s, and were commonly used to display different cakes or pastries in restaurants, bakeries or cafes. Although originally the trays were referred to as dumbwaiters, today they are referred to as "Lazy Susans."

Dumbwaiter tables may feature a variety of different elements such as drop-leafs or folding trays, glass display cases, pie crust edges or cabriole legs, while older versions of dumbwaiter tables typically feature detachable circular trays.

Guide for collectors

Antique dumbwaiter drop-leaf tables, or antique dumbwaiter tables featuring square-shaped trays are considered to be rare, but not necessarily the most valuable. Dumbwaiter tables which were manufactured in England are typically more common, while dumbwaiter tables which were manufactured in France tend to be the most rare and valuable among collectors.

Restoration of an antique dumbwaiter table is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring an antique dumbwaiter table may decrease its value.

For more information regarding antique dumbwaiter tables, visit David Harper Antiques' official website.


Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey sold a group of three, three-tiered mahogany English dumbwaiter tables for $1,600 in December of 2008, and a pair of English mahogany dumbwaiter tables (circa 19th century) for $500 in August of 2009.

Premier Auction Galleries in Chardon, Ohio sold a French Napoleon Gueridon mahogany and three-tiered dumbwaiter table (circa 1860; 43" in height) with shaped tops and cabriole legs for $300 in July of 2010.

Great Gatsby's Antiques and Auctions in Atlanta, Georgia sold a mahogany three-tiered Chippendale-style dumbwaiter table (64" in height) for $200 in December of 2010.

Auctions Neapolitan in Naples, Florida sold a two-tiered drop-leaf dumbwaiter table (35.75" in height) for $95 in July of 2005.

Affiliated Auctions in Tallahassee, Florida sold a two-tiered walnut dumbwaiter table (30" in height) for $25 in July of 2005.

Old Hat Auctions in Houston, Texas sold a three-tiered oak Dumbwaiter table (34" in height) with scalloped edges for $20 in November of 2005.

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