Oh no, I am not talking about an ironing board. :-). What I was to showcase is called a Linen Press. Probably a predecessor to our ironing boards and the steam iron :-)
Linen Press seem to have been a popular utility furniture item in the 19th century. I first saw this piece in a local furniture museum and researched more on the origins and the use of such well made piece of furniture. It looked more like a printer/binding press (I was almost right in guessing its purpose). It turned out that households in the 1800 and early 1900's used them keep their folded linen creases free. Amazing isnt it :-)
This is how it must have looked in a room set up
"LINEN PRESS. Poland, Gdańsk, c. 1700. Table-linen presses are of particular importance as examples of Gdańsk richly decorated functional furniture. They are in the form of a table on which the main part – the press – is placed. It is regulated by a large screw, framed by spiral columns. The sculpted figures at the top are personifications of Faith and Hope." source:wawel.krakow.pl
Little more info...
LINEN-PRESS, a contrivance, usually of oak, for pressing sheets, table-napkins and other linen articles, resembling a modern office copying-press. Linen presses were made chiefly in the 17th and 18th centuries, and are now chiefly interesting as curiosities of antique furniture. Usually quite plain, they were occasionally carved with characteristic Jacobean designs. source: 1911encyclopedia
Another piece of furniture which a namesake: a simple Armoire or a cupboard. While reasearching about the linen press I came to know that a simple cupboard was also called a Linen Press.
Probable use of a linen press found via an Illustration
Hope you found the find interesting!! :-)