Relevant categories: Desks,Tables
The purpose of a library table is to provide a surface for writing as well as minimal storage space. That’s why it may be referred to as a writing table. To help you store small items, the schedule may come fully equipped with drawers under the top surface. As such, it had a form similar to that of a pedestal desk. The only difference is that the writing table didn’t have pedestals. Instead, it was held up using legs. So, you can easily substitute the names writing table, library table, and leg desk.
The name given in the table may also depend on the style in which it is done. If Art Nouveau or Louis XVI, it will be known as a bureau plat. But why is it referred to as a library table? In most homes, the table was used in the library or office where the gentleman carried out transactions and kept books. Since a variety of desks were used in the library, the term “library table” may be used to refer to any of them.
What Were Library Tables, Used For?
(Above photo - Victorian Library Table Desk - Burr Walnut Stretcher Circa 1860 )
The primary purpose of writing tables was for writing and studying. That’s why the height was mainly that of a standard desk – not more than 30 inches. Most of them featured an oval or rectangular shape. The most common material was wood. Mahogany, oak, and other hardwoods were the most preferred. Some even have a leather writing top.
How to Identify an Antique Library Table
There were several manufacturers of these pieces of furniture in the late 19th century and early 20 century. For that reason, you may want to know if you have an authentic antique by thoroughly inspecting it. The following are some of the things you may want to do.
1. A Manufacturer’s Mark
(Above photo - William IV Library Table Desk in Rosewood )
Some of the library tables out there might not be marked. However, a substantial number of them have a manufacturer’s mark. It could be a simple mark or a pasted label representing the manufacturer. Mostly, you can find it on the bottoms of a drawer, the back, or under the surface of the table. For those that do not have a distinctive mark, check out for the manufacturing date instead.
2. Determine the Era It Represents
Like other pieces of antique furniture, library tables have existed for centuries. The good thing is that the tables would match the prevailing furniture style of a given period. Once you know the form, it will be easier to date a library table. For example, the Victorian period lasted between 1850 and 1900. Pieces of furniture made at that time had carvings, elaborate hardware, and other ornate details. So, a library table from this time may have carved legs, ornate drawer handles, and scrolling designs.
(Above photo - Antique Library Table Desk - Hand Carved Oak 19th Century )
If you have no idea how to determine the value of a library table, ask an expert to help you with it. In many antique shops, you will find experts ready to help you.
Regency Rosewood Library Table...
William IV Library Table Desk ...
Antique Library Table Desk - H...
Victorian Library Table Desk -...
Our 'Lost London' series continues looking at the iconic Biba store - where the Swinging Sixties met the Roaring Twenties...
Elevate the fine dining experience with a silver plate surtout de table or epergne
Large range of art deco statues from Canonbury Antiques, perfect for the Roaring Twenties..