CILSS Antique Extended Dining Tables


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The custom of having several small, rather than one large, table in the dining room continued into the 18th century, but the formerly popular gate-leg table was soon superseded by an improved version that no longer had "gates" or stretchers between the legs. Known as a antique drop-leaf table, this type had four legs, two of which swung out on a knuckle hinge to support the flaps; early examples had cabriole legs often ending in pad feet, but by the middle of the century, such tables more often stood on straight legs. 

In the second half of the century, practices changed, and it became more usual to sit at one large table. Of these, one type had free-standing D-shaped end sections on tapering legs and a central gate-leg section which could be used with the flaps either up or down to provide extra seating space. But as before, the drawback was the number of legs, which tended to get in the diners' way. 

This problem was solved in the 1780s with the introduction of the pedestal dining table. Like previous styles, it could be equipped with extra leaves to extend its length (thus the antique extending dining table name). 

Breakfast tables are a smaller variation of the pedestal table, made for more intimate family meals. They often have tilt tops so that they can be kept in a corner of the room when not in use. Pedestal tables of all sizes have been reproduced, and many "married" examples are not uncommon. 







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