Maker: Bradley Barnard
Subcategory: Campaign Tables
The size of this mahogany portable table is comparable to that of a cricket table. The table top fixes to the tripod legs by a metal screw fitting. The top is made of four pieces, hinged to each other so that it will further pack down once the locking bar to the underside is twisted to run parallel to the boards. The underside of the top has two raised dovetailed blocks for the bar to lock into. When the top is folded these blocks fit into corresponding recesses cut out of the boards so that it will fold flat. The legs are held in the splayed position by metal strap springs which will allow them to also fold to sit parallel against each other and be held in place by a leather belt strap.
The table is stamped both to the locking bar to underside of the top and the tripod legs with Barnard's Patent. This action of the folding legs and the fitting of both a table top or washstand etc. was patented by B. Barnard on the 16th of April 1878. It is of interest that he, like many other makers including Alderman, describes their furniture as for invalids and others. The meaning of the term seems to have had wider connotations at the time with a number of portable items bracketed under the heading Invalid. This is borne out by the brass plague to the table which notes Trademark - Packed For Travelling with an image of a bundle of wrapped sticks. Bradly Barnard's address was St. Paul's Road, Cannonbury. Middlesex. Research has led to little available information on Barnard but we do know he also took out patents in 1870 and 1874 for infant's folding beds and telescopic tables and reading desks respectively. He was quite active in protecting his designs not only by paying for patent applications but also ensuring they were noted in the London Gazette.
This table is clever in its simplicity. The legs and column are all one part and fold easily. Barnard also considered how to reduce the packed size of the top. Whereas other table tops would only fold in half, this folds into a quarter of the overall size. He only seems to have been active over a ten year period with no mention of him in the 1880 Trade Directory. However, this is an interesting piece of campaign furniture and he is a maker worthy of further research. Circa 1878.