EXTENDED DINING TABLES
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the formerly popular gate-leg table was soon superseded by an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
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.
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).
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.