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A Brief History of Console Tables

/ no comments, on All About Sofa & Console Tables, Furniture

vintage console table

We often see tables today as merely that: tables.

What are the functions of tables? Simply put, to place objects on top of. Of course occasionally, we also use them for our modern electronics and places to eat.

What we didn’t know is that there are so many styles and variants of tables today: we have the modern looking glass sofa table, or the more traditional looking antique console table, which is obviously designed to look like the grandeur of console tables of the past.

Today, the one we’ll be discussing about will be the modern antique console table, though that may sound like a misnomer.

The Antique Console Table

Interestingly, the antique console tables came mostly from French architecture from around the 1700s. Most of these French tables were also known as a half moon console table, named after how the table is shaped like a semi-circle (hence, half moon) as if the table was sawed in half.

The half moon console table was usually affixed to a wall by an S-shaped bracket known as a console (now we can see where the name came from!), which gave the appearance of the table being a freestanding one.

They were usually affixed to a wall, and above it was usually a mirror for women to apply makeup and powder to their faces. Sometimes, these tables had no use at all; there were also mostly used as decorations around the house.  The legs were not really strong enough to hold anything that weighed much of anything.

The half moon console table was usually constructed of sturdy hardwood and opulently decorated or carved in with intricate shapes, giving these tables a certain look of regality and of upper class decadence.  As such, these tables were also exorbitantly expensive, usually reserved for the rich and the nobles in France.

As the years went by, the console table evolved and was eventually given the second half of its shape and additional leg(s) to give it the shape of a fully formed table.

However, the story doesn’t end there.

As the years went on and progressed to the 21st century, it would seem that console tables slowly made a comeback into the world of interior design and décor.  It’s a little bit like fashion: what usually goes will come back around.

Recently, the antique console table has been making a comeback in particular. The only key difference is that today, with modern construction methods, materials and designers, new variants and patterns of antique console tables can be made, albeit with a modernized twist in its design.

The Modern Antique Console Table

Many modern antique console tables come made with the same traditional hardwoods that formed the older console tables of old, simply because hardwoods were durable and tough, able to withstand heavy loads and the test of time.  With modern paint finishers and sealants, the wood used would last even longer than their 16th century counterparts.

Often, modern antique console tables are also fitted with glass fittings and metal supports, which lends a certain modern, contemporary feel to the otherwise antiquated looking tables. A classic example of the fusion of past, and present.

In short, modern console tables would look better, and last longer than their older counterparts! The only difference is that console tables today would be delivered much faster, and at the fraction of the cost.