The dining table has always been the focal point of any home, communal eating in great halls in medieval times gave way to a more intimate, smaller gathering in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The refectory table is usually constructed of oak with a planked and cleated top and raised on a frame - generally with turned legs united by stretchers. On a practical note, the stretchers can be a pest when trying to put a chair under the table so an 'H' configuration - or no stretcher at all - can be a practical advantage.
Gate leg tables became another option in the mid-seventeenth century the advantage being it could be folded down and would therefore take up less space, even today the practicality of being able to reduce the size of a dining table is most helpful as the requirement to have a table fully extended is infrequent.
In the mid-eighteenth century, with the arrival of hardwoods from The Caribean, methods of construction became more adventurous with elegant table legs and the use of stretchers being abandoned. Extending dining tables in the Regency period could now be seen using pedestals, virtually eliminating the issue of table legs getting in the way of the diner.
Victorian tables became huge pieces of furniture often using metal screw mechanical methods for extending and adding leaves to the table top.
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Below are a few highlights, or click here view all tables in our Sold Lots archive.
Pair of William IV fold-over mahogany tea tables with rounded corbers on turned column, circular platform and outswept legs, width 95cm.
Sold for 600 GBP
18th century oak gate-leg dining table, replacement oval top on earlier base with matching turned legs, gates and stretchers, two frieze drawers, ...
Sold for 460 GBP
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