Table Asia GalleryFrequently Asked Questions
What do you do, exactly?
Truth be told, I get this question all the time! I have a collection of vintage and antique Japanese transom panels (ranma) that I use to create custom, contemporary tables. I also have a collection of Japanese paper stencils (katagami) that were used to dye kimono fabric.
Can I get the ranma without the custom table base?
Yes! They are available as wall art.
Do you do the woodwork?
No, all these wood panels are original artifacts from Japan.
Are they new?
The Japanese ranma and other panels are vintage and antique, dating from the 1890s through the mid 20th century. The table bases are new.
What if I don’t see the table I want in your store?
Most of our tables are custom made-to-order. If you don’t see what you want on here on the website or on the showroom floor, just choose the panel that suits you best and order your new table.
Can I get the table base a specific height?
Yes, the tables are custom made any height you specify.
What about the size?
The panels are their original sizes and I don’t usually modify them, but I have a big enough selection where we can usually find the size you want. There is also the option of letting the glass extend over the perimeter of the table base. That way we can achieve any size table top you desire.
Some of the panels look fragile. How do you protect them?
All the tables include a glass top.
How long does it take to get my custom table?
From the time you place your your order until delivery is 3 to 4 weeks.
Can I bring in my own panels and have you make the table base?
Absolutely! I love doing something new and different!
What are the table bases made of?
The custom table bases are made of welded and then powder-coated square steel.
What keeps the metal legs from damaging my floor?
All tables include protective “furniture glides’ inserted into the bottom of the table legs. Casters are also available.
Are the tables heavy?
No, the tables are made of hollow ‘square tubing’ and are not heavy at all.
Who does the work for you?
I am proud to say I still hand fabricate the tables right here in San Francisco. To see more about me go to the About Vince Meyer page.
Really? How did you get into this?
I started out as a helper in my father’s metal shop, ‘Metal Mending’ here in San Francisco, eventually taking over the business. Then, in the mid 1980s, a person from Robert Brian Company (a dealer of Japanese antiques with a shop in the San Francisco Design Center) walked into the shop with a Japanese tansu (chest) wanting an iron base. Could I make a stand for their tansu? Sure, I said… what’s a tansu? I went down their Japanese antique warehouse and was amazed by the variety and fine craftsmanship of Japanese cabinetry. From that point on I gained an appreciation for all things Japanese: wood-working, art, philosophy, filmmaking- I learned a lot from watching Kurasawa movies! We soon started making tables with great success until the owners of Robert Brian retired. I then made many tables and tansu bases for Fumiki Fine Arts of San Francisco and Menlo Park. Along the way I also supplied Gump’s, Xanadu, Orientations, Imari Gallery, Ren Brown, Tansu Design Imports, Inja, Roger Barber, John Wheatman, Crane and Turtle, Kiku Imports, and numerous interior designers and individuals who appreciate the Japanese aesthetic, like you!
Ok, I like your work! How much does it cost?
Tables start at $500. You can get a further idea of prices by going to the Japanese Table page.
Do you also make tansu stands? Can you make a stand for me?
Yes! I make them all the time. The best way way to order a custom tansu (chest) stand is to bring your tansu into the shop so that we can discuss the design and I can measure the tansu for you. I also make stands from your measurements that you fax or email. For some examples of tansu bases click here.
It would be difficult for me to bring in my tansu. Can you work off of measurements?
Yes, I have a form I can send you to fill out with the measurements. After I build the stand I can send it to you UPS.
When are you available?
Call any time. If I am not at the store I may be able to meet you immediately. I live very near the store and it is very easy for me to meet you here at your convenience. I am also available any time by appointment.
This all sounds good. What else do you do?
I have a collection of rare Japanese stencils known as katagami (pattern paper). These are the original stencils used to make designs on kimono fabric. They are not prints. They are available picture framed as wall art, or used under glass as the decorative tops of tables. I also have some artifacts from japan that I just couldn’t pass up adding to the collection, including: woven hats and capes, gorgeous calligraphic account ledgers, usabata, etc. Call or visit for more information.
How long have you been doing this?
I first became interested in sharing the world of Japanese design in 1985, for many years I supplied the fine retailers mentioned above.
I opened Table Asia Gallery on October 1st 2005. I love what I do and look forward to the opportunity to share it with you!