Arthur W Simpson (The Handicrafts) Arts & Crafts Lakes School English Oak Table


An Arts & Crafts Lakes School English Oak drop leaf dining table by Arthur W. Simpson (The Handicrafts, Kendal) made in around 1930. A very pleasingly simple but elegant design by one of the leading Arts & Crafts makers of the 20th century. Octagonal tables are far more sociable that typical rectangular ones, allowing everyone to see and talk to each other and providing ample space in the centre. This one has the benefit of being able to be stored away when not in use. Featuring:

  • Very well figured quarter-sawn English Oak throughout (quarter-sawing is a method of sawing oak logs to produce boards with superior strength making it less likely to crack shrink or warp. It also gives the finished boards prominent highly decorative 'medullary rays' in its grain.)
  • Octagonal top made out of just three continuous pieces of very well figured quarter-sawn solid timber
  • Shaped ends joined by a stretcher with exposed wedged tenons
  • Folding leaves supported by gate legs
  • Subtle carved pattern around the top

Approximate dimensions are:

  • Overall width (open) 990mm (39 inches)
  • Overall width (closed) 260mm (10 inches)
  • Overall Height 730mm (29 inches) [A standard height for a dining table]
  • Overall Depth 990mm (39 inches)
If you need a very exact dimension, or one we haven't included, feel free to contact us and we will measure it for you.


'Arthur W. Simpson, The Handicrafts, Kendal' circular inset plaque on the undersideand stamped stock number 8577

Very good condition, tight joints, smoothly sliding legs, firm hinges and free of woodworm. A few marks and dints discoverable upon close inspection. If you wish to have further specific photographs or talk to us for a more detailed condition report then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Arthur W. Simpson and his Kendal based furniture making company 'The Handicrafts' was a renowned arts and crafts maker associated with very high quality hand crafted furniture, who worked with by members of the Artworker's Guild, such as Voysey and Baillie-Scott. Today, items of Simpson furniture are hard to find and avidly collected. Materials, workmanship and design are always of the highest quality

The most British of woods, that can produce really special results. English oak has been used for hundreds of years to construct everything from sea-going vessels to fine furniture. Although oak grows widely across Europe and North America, craftsmen continue to cherish English oak which grows more slowly than its foreign counterparts giving it strength, durability. Quarter sawn boards are very straight grained and have distinctive growth rings and medullary rays that give a very beautiful effect as well as being renowned for their superior stability and strength

The Arts & Crafts Lakes School was a development of the Arts and Craft Cotswold School. The most significant designers and makers were Arthur Simpson, in Kendal, Stanley Webb Davies at Windermere and the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Peter Hall of Staveley still produces furniture in this tradition. The Lakes School maintained the ideals with its simple lines, attention to the finest of details, the use of beautiful locally materials and the focus traditional tools and techniques. In fact Stanley Webb Davies' workshop didn't use any power tools at all, even to cut logs from timber! The dominant material was English Oak and typical decorative details often include exposed joints and subtle carved details

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