Learn about Dumb Waiter

There are two distinct furniture forms known as a dumb waiter. The Georgian version consisted of three revolving circular trays attached to a central pedestal column, usually on a tripod base. It was used for holding plates and tea cups in the drawing-room. Generally made from mahogany, some varieties were contrived so that the trays were collapsible. In the later 19th century the term was applied to a two or three tiered form, with turned legs and supports, used for dishes and crockery in the dining room. Of intrigue, is the nineteenth century metamorphic 'rise-and-fall' dumb waiter, in which the three tiers converge and convert the item to a side table by means of telescopic arms and counterbalanced weights. Many Australian examples survive in cedar, blackwood and pine. Its descendant is the small tray mobile beloved of tea ladies and hostesses.
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A William IV mahogany telescopic servery. 112 cm high, 112 cm wide, 54 cm deep

A cedar telescopic three tier dumb-waiter, Australian, circa 1870, 127 cm high, 123 cm wide, 62 cm deep. Literature: Australian Furniture: Pictorial History and Dictionary, 1788-1938, Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson, Casuarina Press Ptd Ltd, Woollahra plate

Victorian mahogany metamorphic dumb waiter three oblong shelves, turned stretcher, bun feet with original white ceramic casters

Victorian style metamorphic dumbwaiter with low shelves. Diameter 55 cm

Antique French mahogany dumb waiter telescopic movement, approx 103 cm high (extended), 90 cm wide

Good late Victorian mahogany telescopic dumb waiter, fitted with spindle galley and leaf capped scroll legs with central spindle stretcher, 112 cm high open x 91 cm wide

A mid 19th century mahogany telescopic dumb waiter with turned stretcher and architectural supports, opening to three tiers, small restoration required. Height 110 cm. Width 134 cm. Depth 57 cm

A early Victorian mahogany telescopic dumb waiter, circa 1840, the rectangular top above two shelves, supported on trestle ends, raised on platform bases with bun feet with recessed castors, 117 cm wide, 47 cm deep, 115 cm high,86 cm high unextended

A late 19th century oak metamorphic dumbwaiter, in Jacobean style, the two open oak shelves with barley twist supports below two drawers, the top opening t.o form a shelved upstand back with a marble top. Height 100 cm. Width 114 cm. Depth 42 cm

An early Victorian mahogany collapsible dumb waiter of centre table form when retracted, the rectangular top with a cabochon-studded frill-cut frieze raised on chamfered rectangular end standards United by a turned stretcher, on scrolling feet with leather

A mid Victorian two tier dumbwaiter, the two rectangular tiers with metamorphic action on a fluted and lappet carved column with cruciform plinth applied with rosettes. Width 112 cm. Depth 61 cm. Height 76 cm

A William IV mahogany telescopic dumb waiter, the rounded rectangular three tier top raised on a corbel and turned stretcher base bun feet 121 x 113 x 53 cm

William IV mahogany telescopic dumbwaiter with three tiers to platform stretcher base with well carved feet and original castors

A very good and scarce early colonial cedar metamorphic (rise and fall) dumb waiter, with a good working mechanism, used as a serving table and three tier dumb waiter, good undisturbed old worn finish, 114 cm wide, 125 cm high when open, 86 cm high closed