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.
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A cedar four tier dumb waiter, 19th century, 175 cm high, 121 cm wide, 46 cm deep

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

C 1850s Colonial cedar convertible dumb waiter. Three tiers collapse to form table. Height 104 cm. Width 120 cm. Depth 52 cm

Australian oak Arts & Crafts dumb waiter, fitted with two drawers, approx 130 cm high, 107 cm wide

An Australian oak serving table, 19th century. 99 cm high, 91 cm wide, 48 cm deep

A good Edwardian cedar dumb waiter 3 shelves & 2 drawers (1 fitted) with turned supports on castors, 122 cm wide, 46 cm deep, 106 cm high

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

Early Victorian cedar three tiered dumb waiter with two suspended central drawers and ornate turned columns

Art Nouveau style dumb waiter c.1910, Australian blackwood with two lower drawers and carved motifs two door cupboard, and bevelled glass mirrored back. Height 164 cm. Width 126.5 cm. Depth 49 cm

A cedar two tier dumb waiter, Australian, circa 1870, the scroll carved back above two tiers and an apron drawer, on turned supports with acorn finials 104 cm wide, 59 cm deep, 109 cm high

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

Dumb waiter mid 19th century Australian red cedar butlers tray & stand

A cedar dumb waiter. Height 94 cm. Width 125 cm. Depth 56 cm

Colonial Australian Regency style cedar dumbwaiter, flat back ribbon cedar panel with carved acanthus scroll work, fluted columns on turned bun feet

Colonial cedar three tier dumb waiter with heavily carved columns and primitive style carvings to the gallery and aprons

A Victorian cedar dumb waiter with three tiers flanked by scrolling supports, the base set with two drawers, raised on turned feet, 137 x 147 x 46 cm