Michael 5260
Dating the Mersman Table
Wed Apr 10, 2019 16:40

I studied a couple of photographs taken of the logos underneath two Mersman tables. One had Mersman 81-33 stamped on it. The furniture appraiser speculated that the table might be from 1933. He said "might be".

The second Mersman table had an upside-down triangle with Mersman and the number 6988 in the middle of the triangle. This four digit number does not have a hyphen between the four numbers.

The Mersman four digit numbers may only be lot numbers. Who knows.
Manufacturers markings, labels, logos, etc. can be found in various places on the furniture. Underneath, on a leg, or in a drawer. It just depends on where the manufacturer decides to put their company mark on the furniture at the time.

Another thing to contend with is that a manufacturer can change their mark over the years. Just like a company changing their letterhead stationery slightly or profoundly over the course of time. This is sort of a good thing if you are trying to date a document, or in this case a table.

I next turned to Buddington's Furniture Chart. It has patent date numbers from 1836 to 1995. For the year 1932 the patent numbers are 1,839,190 - 1,892,662. The patent numbers prior to 1932 are just as large.

With pieces of our notorious Mersman table missing there may be no Mersman four digit number to find. It is possible the four digit number is on one of the missing table pieces. Wouldn't that be a hoot.

If a number could be found the most logical records to consult are the Mersman company furniture records. That is the place to look. Even so, a number may only provide a wide time frame of when this particular table was manufactured. I doubt if the number could tell someone the exact year, month, and day the table was manufactured.

All in all, based on the enigmatic content of the handwritten confession on the table and Elmer's dubious story about finding it I think the table is a poorly executed hoax. I also don't think a judge or a jury could be convinced of its genuineness.

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