Late 19thC Blacksmiths Bench (side/console table)
From a rather dilapidated old smithy’s in Finistere, Brittany comes this blacksmith bench. The calendar on the wall was 1954, presumably the last time it was used. What looks like a pirates' peg leg on the left is a vice (the metal shoes are both still in place) with a long jaw extending to the ground. Just above floor level is a bar to peg the leg-like jaw in place and tighten. This was used to hold cart wheels for repair. These have become popular in France as side tables in barn conversions, lofts, restaurants etc. I have one friend who juxtaposes his display of Sevres and Dresden porcelain on one and another who has a beautifully balanced collection of old machine cogs on another. At 198 cm long there's plenty of length but at only 36cm wide takes up little volume in the room. An unusual and useful statement piece.