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.
A West Australian Colonial jarrah and cedar dumb waiter, c.1880's and later two tier type with turned spindle legs upon castors Provenance: Chiritta home, peppermint Grove, which was originally built by Augustus Roe (Son of J. S. Roe). Height 84 cm; top: 1
A George III mahogany two tier dumb waiter, each revolving circular dished tier on a ring turned baluster support, terminating in three downswept legs and pad feet with brass castors 38 cm in diameter, 75 cm high
An Australian full cedar dumb waiter, by James Lawson, circa 1880 the gallery back with central roundel, foliate carved panels and s-scrolled finials above two rectangular shelves with a thumb moulded edge and rounded corners on carved supports above a bot
A French heavily carved oak dumb waiter, circa 1900, the carved splash back decorated with mask medallion and scrolling leaves above two drawers supported on twist pillars, the lower section fitted with double carved doors standing on bun feet. Height 120
A Georgian mahogany circular two tiered circular dumb waiter, circa 1835. Fashioned as a two tier table with concentric sized circular tops raised above a gun barrel tripod pedestal base with cabriole legs. Height 81 cm
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