Relevant categories: Tables
(Above photo - Pair Regency Coffee Tables - Antique Mahogany Inlay 1900 )
Almost every living room has a coffee table for various purposes. Instead of purchasing new tables, you might opt for antique coffee tables to decorate your space. The problem is that many people have no idea how to identify an antique coffee table. It helps if you know the evolutions through which coffee tables have undergone historically.
(Above photo - Satinwood Coffee Table Marquetry Inlay )
The exact period when coffee tables appeared is unknown. However, during the early Victorian period, people started using the term “coffee table” for the first time. However, the table had been in existence long before it gained that name.
Since the 17th century, interior designers in Europe had been making and using the tea table. It had a tall frame integrating a round tabletop, not looking quite like the modern tea table. Soon, the coffee table was introduced, denoting a critical historical moment for humankind.
The establishment of several coffee houses across Britain led to increased demand and use of coffee tables. In the 18th century, furniture makers introduced a sofa and coffee table combination, setting the pace for modern homeowners.
(Above photo - Vintage art deco coffee table )
The coffee table didn’t exist in only one style. Instead, the style evolved from elaborately decorated to simple coffee tables in homes today. The following are some of the most popular antique coffee table styles:
Traditional: This is the most common coffee table style, providing function furniture pieces on a budget. It is appealing and provides an exceptional timeless decor that has lasted for centuries. Its frame had well-defined oval or rectangular carved shapes.
Rustic: The rustic coffee table was popular in countryside homes with simplified patterns of wooden constructions on the frame. It not only serves as a functional furniture piece but also a highly decorative piece of art.
Coastal: A coastal style is an old form of the coffee table featuring natural shapes, a light wooden tone, and an airy feel. It most likely emerged during the art nouveau or deco movements, which qualifies it as an antique.
(Above photo - Blackamoor Coffee Table Italian Venetian Interiors )
Early coffee tables came in the form of low tables, complementing overstaffed chairs and sofas. Soon, almost all homes had a combination of sofas and a coffee table to provide entertainment. During the Victorian period, coffee tables were made of rosewood, mahogany, and other hardwoods. They had elaborate carvings with original cracked wood finishes.
In the later part of the 20th century, furniture makers adopted the simpler arts and crafts style. The furniture pieces have minimal ornamentation, simple lines, and solid copper hardware. However, these coffee tables aren’t antique yet, and wouldn’t be appealing to the avid collector.
(Above photo - Chinese Lacquer Coffee Table Ebonized Chinoiserie )
Antique coffee tables can make beautiful additions to any home. Whether you buy one of the earliest pieces or from the Victorian period, you will likely find highly decorative and functional furniture pieces. The good thing with coffee tables is that you can use them in virtually any room within your home.
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