When Don and his wife Barbara settled down in Santa Maria de Guido in the early 1950´s they started making wooden buttons and bowls. Within a short period of time Don became very familiar with all the exotic hardwoods grown in the southern mountains of the State of Michoacan and the “hot country”, “la tierra caliente” for the locals (the mountains close to the ocean) and he created his first chair design, then followed by other furniture designs that with time became his distinctive style.

Don experimented with different tropical woods species in his early furniture designs; he once mentioned that over 150 varieties of woods had come through his woodworking factory. Today I will share with you one of Don´s early game table designs from the late 1950’s and its evolution in the 1960’s.

This Don S. Shoemaker game table from the late 1950’s is made in granadilla tropical wood with a leather table top. The design looks rather simple at first sight, but in reality the table´s assembly work is very elaborate since wooden dowels hold it together. Also pay attention to the elegant continue line of the table stretchers.

In the 1960’s Don decided to use different materials and the design matured. Now this game table was produced in rosewood and the table top was made in marble. George R. Shoemaker continued reproducing the same table in the 1990’s, but he updated the design by replacing the marble table top with parquetry.

This recently detected forgery lacks completely the subtle refinement of the original design. Pay attention to the table´s top support (very small) and the table stretchers, which look like borrowed from another table…

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