Q: A few years ago, I bought a round 60-inch dining room table with a pedestal base at a Los Angeles antique shop. The dealer told me the table was made in Germany, but there’s no label or mark on it. The interesting thing about it is that there’s a thick base under the tabletop that hides eight leaves. You can lift the top of the table and rotate the leaves out so they form a ring around the table, making the tabletop 80 inches in diameter. Have you ever seen a table like this?
A: Your table is called a “perimeter table,” and the leaves are referred to as “perimeter leaves.” The style has been around for decades and some cabinetmakers are building them today. A U.S. patent for this sort of table was granted in 1911. That was during an era when all sorts of different table extension designs were being invented.