An exceptionally well designed oak Gaming Table that folds out of a briefcase.
The legs of this table are made of 2 struts that are hinged together to allow them to pack down neatly into the table's box base. The legs are locked in place, when set up, by hinged sections that link them to the top at a 45 degree angle. The top, which doubles in size, forms the table surface and is lined in baize. When packed down, the whole is secured in place by leather belt straps, with a carrying handle, that fit to brass loops to one side.
It has often been considered that these tables were probably the work of Albert Barker of New Bond Street, London. This version is very interesting as it suggests another maker. A hinge is stamped Thornhill & Co. Patent. (William Thornhill of 144 New Bond Street). Barker was a partner in Thornhill's from 1875 to 1885. The picnic set makers G. W. Scott & Sons are also associated with the design. They produced a wicker picnic basket that had a table working to the same principal rising out of it. The patent number 14907, believed to date to 1907, is stamped to a leg of this table and has been found on a Barker table and Scott's picnic version. Which of the 3 makers were responsible for the patent has not been established.
What is known though is that all 3 have a reputation for the high quality of their items. Circa 1910.