The history of antique table types

Medieval table

Antique Tables Styles Every Collector Should Know

Shopping for antique tables? If you have a certain idea in mind, it can be helpful to know what type of table you’re looking for, so you can bring your vision to life. Listed below are some of the most common types of tables you’ll find in antique shops.

1. Trestle Tables

Trestle tables are one of the earliest forms of tables and were very common in ancient Rome. Of course, during this time, these tables were made of marble or stone. Modest versions were made of wood, and some were nothing more than a group of loose boards resting over trestle legs. Early versions of these tables were collapsible and easy to store. They remained one of the most common forms of tables in the West until the 16th century.

2. Refectory Tables

Refectory tables were once used for dining in monasteries during Medieval times. They made their way into castles and noble residences in the late Middle Ages and served as banqueting or feasting tables. Originally, these tables were handcrafted out of beautiful walnut or oak. Many pine tables and benches are also built in the refectory style to this day. Its overall design is based off the trestle-style. While you’ll find many design variations, the table’s legs are typically supported by stretchers that are low to the ground.

3. Round Pedestal Table

Much like the trestle style, pedestal tables were one of the earliest forms of tables. Its design is simple, but synonymous with elegance and sophistication. These tables feature a smooth, flat top that’s supported by a single vertical leg or column. Some variations have thin stands that end in three shorter legs. Later in the 19th century, pedestal bases became much thicker with shorter legs. The earliest forms of these tables were small and known as candle stands. Today, you can find pedestal tables in most antique shops. They’re highly sought after and many feature intricate carvings and designs.

4. Tea Tables

Looking to add a bit of English charm to your home? Tea tables were popular during the 18th and 19th centuries in England. As you may have guessed, these tables were used to present tea to guests. Most are rectangular in shape, and some have tray tops to prevent spills. The popularity of these tables declined after the 19th century, but you’ll still find many in antique shops all over the world. While most of these table types date back several centuries, many modern tables are based on these ancient designs.