Antique tables are a common site at fairs, in shops and online. As they are such useful items of furniture, there has always been a great demand for them. The fact that they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and qualities ensures that they remain a popular collector’s item. Made of walnut, mahogany, oak and pine they were all popular and were used for card games, serving tea, dining and sewing.
The tables made during the William and Mary era had influences from Holland, where the Prince was born. Gate-leg tables became popular during this period, with drop leaves, which could be extended if necessary and which are still used today.
Queen Anne tables were made of cherry, maple or walnut. The feet on table legs were in a ball and claw design to make them more attractive. Card tables became popular, especially those that folded away.
There was a big increase in the design and manufacture of furniture during the Victorian period, as more people began to earn enough money to spend on their homes and, in conjunction, the use of machinery enabled the items to be produced more quickly and economically.
At the beginning of Victoria’s reign, furniture was dark and heavy with elaborate carvings, but soon after the Victorians began to embrace many different styles. From France came French Restoration and Louis XVI furniture. French Restoration tables were less fussy than those of the Louis XVI, which retained the elaborate carvings and the dark wood popular with the early Victorians.
Rococo revival tables featured marble inlays and cast iron was used. Cheaper wood, painted to look more expensive was popular with people, who weren’t able to afford tables made from oak or mahogany.
Dining tables were very much in use during the Victorian period and often had to be big enough to seat a large number of guests and that is why many Victorian households had extending dining tables made out of mahogany. Tables were often on castors too, so that they could be moved around easily.
During the last century country kitchen furniture was designed, so that people ate at the table in the kitchen. Pine kitchen tables were built to a simple design, without flourishes, so that they were durable and easy to clean. French country kitchen tables have always been a popular collector’s item and they represent good value for money in today’s used furniture market.
There is a table for every room in a house. Be it a small corner table, a fold up tray table or, an extending dining table. Antique tables are beautiful, well- crafted and best of all, a sound investment.