Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Furniture, Library, Bookstand, Table, Chinnock’s, Victorian English, Antique, 19th Century


Chinnock’s Patent Self-Acting Screen, Table, and Stand
London: Mid 19th Century
Mahogany and brass
13.75 inches, diameter
35 inches to 53 inches, adjustable height

An unusual and rare Victorian patented adjustable mahogany stand with a round top that can be tilted to any angle between parallel and perpindicular to the floor to be used as a table, firescreen, or reading stand. The stand telescopes in height on a wooden rod within the turned central baluster standard, raised on a turned dish base with three shaped disc feet. The Chinnocks patented brass hardware allows the stand to be used as a table with the round top parallel to the floor, as a firescreen with the top set perpendicular to the floor, or as a reading or music stand with the top at an angle. When angled for use as a reading stand, the book rests on a rectangular cross bar and is held in place by two brass bars. The patented brass mechanism thus simultaneously allows the top to be tilted or raised and stay in place as desired.

Product description continues below.


Various forms of Chinnock’s stands in inlaid mahogany and papier-mâché are known. So called metamorphic furniture like this that could be altered to different forms and purposes were popular gadgets in Victorian England; Chnnock’s was apparently a specialist in these forms, that operated with their patented hardware. A classified advertisement in The Illustrated London News in 1846 contains the following details for Chinnock’s ‘extensive metamorphic product line, the first item being an adjustable stand:

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. — Chinnock’s Patent Self-Acting Screen, Work-Table, and Music-Stand, in one elegant and inexpensive article; Recumbent Chairs and Couches, for Dining, Drawing-room, and Library; Protean Looking-glasses; Pedal Music-stools, Portable Easels, &c. &c. may be had at all leading Upholsterers, and at the Patentee’s, 52 Regent-street. The Public and Trade are cautioned against purchasing any article not having a label stamped “Chinnock’s Patent.”

The Chronological Index of Patents of Invention lists a patent granted in 1847 to “Charles Chinnock, of No. 52, Regent’s Quadrant, in the county of Middlesex” for an invention related to “regulating motion and controlling friction in the joints and other parts of furniture, machinery and carriages.” Middlesex County is contained within Greater London.

Octagonal brass plate on underside has a raised design with the British coat of arms and the words CHINNOCK’S PATENT SCREEN.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall wear and minor restorations.


“Advertisements.” The Illustrated London News. 26 December 1846. p. 415. Online at Google Books: (4 April 2022).

Woodcroft, Bennet. Titles of Patents of Invention, Chronologically Arranged. 1823-1853. Vol 2. London: Queen’s Printing Office, 1854. p. 1356. Online at (4 April 2022).

Additional information


19th Century