McLoughlin House: Caribbean Mahogany Pivoting Game Table

MPF Conservation conserved several objects for the McLoughlin House in Oregon City, Oregon (which is part of the Fort Vancouver NM); this page documents the Caribbean Mahogany Pivoting Game Table circa 1830, part of the McLoughlin family collection.

Left, Mitchell during assessment.

The top pivots to reveal storage underneath for games. A pivoting table such as this must have been quite an innovation, and we imagine that this was a piece admired and discussed in Oregon City!

The table was seriously damaged, far more than the NPS suspected, as their work order only outlined the finish work and the missing veneer.

During our assessment we discovered torn and loose veneer (in addition to the missing veneer), damage to the hinging mechanism, loose bun feet, terribly degraded shellac, watermarks on the tabletop, and a cracked base.

MPFC recommended a dozen dovetail keylocks be inserted in the underside of the cracked base to save it from splitting entirely through, however, due to lack of funds, MPFC was unable to properly treat the cracked base. The NPS will be very careful until funding for the base is approved.

When we are treating any object, we also take the time to do a thorough cleaning, including inside the wheels, image two above, where weekly cleaning is not considered, above.

Above, unfolding the table to its open position.

We clarified the degraded shellac, then polished and waxed the entire table.

We would not have recommended replacing the felt, as there is no threat of further damage due to the worn historic material. MPFC assesses in particular items that can be a threat to the life of the object when looking for issues outside the scope of work.

Above, the Game Table before, left, and after treatment, right.

Items MPFC treated as of this date from the McLoughlin home are:

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