What is this thing (furniture?) seen at a thrift store?
April 4, 2019 6:03 PM   Subscribe

What is this wooden object? It appears to have some sort of seat, and a drawer for storage, but I'm clueless (and curious) as to its purpose. It wasn't very tall, seemed very solidly built. (And no, the tag didn't say what it was, I looked.)
posted by stormyteal to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's a coffee table that's riffing on a cobbler's bench.
posted by bricoleur at 6:10 PM on April 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

Shoeshine stool?
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 6:10 PM on April 4, 2019

Seconding "decorative" cobbler's bench.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:17 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's a cobbler's bench.
posted by drlith at 6:17 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Coffee tables made to look like cobbler's benches must have been A Thing at one point, because my husband's great-grandfather made one about 100 yrs ago, and I am sure no cobbling took place on that thing, though it is still owned by his parents and used as a coffee table today.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:35 PM on April 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have a coffee table cobbler bench that that I thought was a real cobblers bench in its previous life, but now you all are making me wonder. It did look (when I bought it at that used furniture place in porter square in somerville MA) like it had been used for cobbling. It's quite banged up with little bangs all over the place.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:47 PM on April 4, 2019

It seems possible there could have been a A Tale of Two Cities inspired bit of a mania for cobbler's benches a century or so ago in the US considering that there were three movie adaptations between 1911 and 1922.
posted by jamjam at 7:44 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Looks like it was a popular project as late as the 60s...coffee table heyday, I suppose.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:03 PM on April 4, 2019

It looks to me that 'cobbler's back' must have been a Thing, back in the day, so much so that I am surprised that they are/were a real artefact.
posted by GeeEmm at 10:17 PM on April 4, 2019

In the decade leading up to the Bicentennial, there was a resurgence in "colonial style", a taste for things that looked 18th-century, and from the design and finish in your photos I'd say that's where this one hails from.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:14 AM on April 5, 2019

I expect it might have been used as a gossip bench, also called a telephone bench.
posted by jocelmeow at 7:48 AM on April 5, 2019

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