Peter Pan Games Table

Join Pan, Tinkerbell and Hook for a game of cards....

H. Miller Bros were approached by Studio Ashby with the tantalising idea of a games table, made in poplar burr and formed so that the table top and legs defined the edges of a crisp cube shape. The top leaf would be able to flip and rotate between a backgammon and chessboard.

The games table would be placed as a striking centrepiece in their private client’s residence in Hyde Park, London. The famous playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie, who was best known as the creation of Peter Pan, used to live in the property, and so a subtle incorporation of some of Sir Barrie’s well-loved characters were added into the design.

Six drawers were incorporated into the table that were hand dovetailed in solid Maple and lined in leather to hold playing pieces, cards and dice. To pay homage to Sir Barrie’s famous novel, each drawer side features his famous friends – Pan, Tinkerbell, Hook and Crocodile were painstakingly inlaid into the maple drawer sides, and finished with a pin of brass that glints when caught in the light.

Set into the main playing board is contrasting burrs of oak and walnut that create backgammon triangles on one side and chess squares on the other. The board can also be rotated a full 360 degrees by a bespoke brass pivot designed for the project in house by H Miller Bros. A square of leather was mounted into a recessed groove around the main board for playing card games.

Hugh Miller explains “part of the delight of this piece is that it looks incredibly pure and simple from the outside, however this created a major structural design challenge”. There could be no bracing at low level because we needed leg room for 4 players. That meant stiffening up the corners where the leg meets the tabletop but that space was occupied by the drawers storing the game pieces. “There’s a complex 3D magic trick going on under the surface; the movement of the drawers threads through the bracing structure and tip toes around the rotating chess board” says Hugh.

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The games table is truly eclectic; the cube-like form is unabashedly contemporary; the poplar burr is an old favourite for luxury furniture. The hand made dove tailed drawers are consciously faithfully to traditional cabinet making while the bespoke pivot mechanism that allows the rotating games board to operate is a piece of cutting edge engineering. “We’re grounded in traditional cabinet making but we are also designers and innovators; this is the sort of work that drives us” says Hugh.

This high-skilled piece of unique furniture was personally handmade in Liverpool by Hugh Miller - one half of bespoke kitchen and furniture company H. Miller Bros. The Games Table is a beautifully crafted example of a bespoke commission that can complement their award-winning kitchen designs.

Project credits:

Concept: Studio Ashby
Detailed Design: Hugh Miller, H. Miller Bros.
Making: H. Miller Bros.
Location: Hyde Park, London
Year: 2018

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