What are Antique End Tables?

The austerity given to antique ends tables is the effect of the quality of the materials as well as the delicate craftsmanship in the construction and design. Like many antiques, end tables are hand crafted. This would result in a diverse range of wood, coloration, design, and size, each bearing an artistic signature of the individual who made them.

Not to be confused with the more intimate nightstand, an end table is a social piece of furniture. Given their smaller size they compliment the other furniture, be they living room sets or a few pieces in the antechamber. They can also subtly highlight a room's size or function as a sort podium for a good book.

Not all end tables are alike; some can be quite baroque bordering on garish, while others are quite understated and simple. Certain pieces feature painted scenes of the countryside, ornate woodwork and bright colors at every opportunity, others are plain teak or hard wood, bearing very little frill at all.

End tables aren't just reserved for antiquity and their present day enthusiasts. Many modern designers have adapted the idea of a small table that sits in the corner to fit the domestic standards of post-industrial society.

Unlike antique end tables, modern end tables can be made out of literally anything that can hold a teacup. A few examples include film canisters and LP records, driftwood, and acrylic plastic.

The design of modern end tables is more or less known in only one aspect; there will be a place to put things on it. Exactly how the designer comes to this point is an entirely different story. Some end tables look like they've come fresh out of an electric kool-aid vision while others feature a contoured elegance of a jet plane, or are made of glass so thin their practically invisible. Finding a suitable end table to match a room is really just a matter of looking around.

The Different Styles of Antique End Tables

Time, style and fashion have been influencing and reflecting one another since. Furniture has been subject to the times and attitudes of their builders. A colonial table maker had not the time, energy or resources of someone in Victorian England for example.

Bear in mind, no matter who made your table, if it came from the days of yore, it's probably going to cost a lot, although there are many reproductions available (and more readily affordable) to the general public.

Early Georgian Period: 1700-1745

During the reign of King George I, II and III and Queen Anne, the arts in England were thriving. A revolution was well underway, a movement some consider to be a pinnacle in building design. This was reflected in home furniture, with a sense of gentility and grace infused in designs of interior décor. It was this era that introduced the cabriole leg, elegant tea tables and shell motifs.

Late Georgian Period: 1745-1790

This era saw the rise of Thomas Chippendale. His designs are noted for retaining the elegance of the early Georgian design with an added masculine flair. While elements of Queen Anne pieces were still present, late Georgian pieces also feature piecrust tilt-top tables with center pedestals as well as the signature curved legs.

Neoclassic Period: 1790-1845

As the British Empire was becoming the dominant power on the world stage, designers began to incorporate their idea of Classical (Greek and Roman) into their furnishing. Names such as Hepplewhite, Sheraton and the Adams Brothers became immensely popular in this time. These designers introduced pedestal style tables in addition to spade and thimble feet, straight feet and splayed legs.

Greek Period: 1825-1845

Gone from this age are the dainty, gentile designs of Adams and Chippendale. The Greek period saw a transition into sturdier designs reminiscent of palaces. Pillar tables with a large singular pedestals replaced delicate cabriole legs, rectangular and round tops became common in end tables. This period also attempted to capture the opulence attributed to former empires; supports featured animal paw feet, diamond pineapples and carvings of acanthus leaves.

All in all, furniture can hold many meanings and hold different designs depending on the era it comes from.