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The most expensive table in the world

The Fletcher Table, which automatically expands from a small size to a larger one,is unique. It is the result of many years of development, but also follows a line ofhistory of more than one and a half centuries.It is a round table that amazingly is capable of doubling its seating capacity and, justas astonishingly, remaining truly circular in the process. Very importantly it storesits expansion leaves within itself. Operation, which has been described as ‘puremagic’ by Boat International magazine, really is a sight to behold and extremelyquick, it taking mere seconds to complete an entire expansion or reduction cycle.The original idea for a table of this type was formed in the nineteenth centuryby a man named Robert Jupe, who patented his design in 1835. Jupe’s table wasinitially round, and had an ingenious geometry and a similarly ingenious method ofmaking it expand radially, changing from a small size to a table of larger diameter.However, Jupe’s tables could not store their own expansion leaves, were not trulyround in every stage, and were slow and laborious to operate. The idea waswonderful though and was a source of inspiration and re-invention.The Fletcher geometry is similar in concept, but radically different. It’s intricacychanges, according to the species of timber used, as the table metamorphosesfrom small to large, and vice versa. When small, the top is made up of six pieshaped leaves, and an outer skirt in the manner of a drum table. Under this firstlayer lie two more layers of leaves, the second made up of six arrow shapedleaves and, under that, a large star shaped leaf. Below all of this lies the magicalmechanism, constructed throughout in a combination of hard anodised aluminiumand stainless steel, and strikingly beautiful in its mechanical complexity. Table leavesare constructed from aluminium honeycomb cored composite for absoluteintegrity and rigidity. The whole assembly is supported on a base of varying designand every component is entirely suitable for a harsh marine environmement.The table can operate manually by rotation of the entire top, or electrically froma pocket sized remote control transmitting unit. Operation metamorphoses thetable, almost before you know it, into an entirely different mode and appearance,and can just as easily be reversed. All tables, be they manual or electronic,rotate through 120 degrees as they operate, and electronic tables can easily beconverted to manual.

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