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Pedestal Dining Tables
Here is a little background information that may help with the purchase of an 18th or 19th century mahogany pillar or pedestal antique dining table. Do contact us with any questions!
Please click on images to enlarge:
||Pedestal dining tables are tables that have a column or pedestal support base rather than having legs at the corners. This format of table is widely regarded as more elegant than the normal legged dining table as the pillars or pedestals can give the design an elegance that makes the table appear much lighter than it actually is. The first pillar tables emerged during the 18th century and at this time lightness of form and elegance of design were considered extremely important, thus English tables from this period generally have thin tops with no frieze, wonderful columns and legs that are generous in form and often are quite long, the best legs sweeping down to run parallel to the floor before reaching the caster. The need for elegance necessitated thin tops made of single sheets of mahogany, lots of timber wasted in the manufacture of the columns and legs and exceptional build quality to support the weight of the tops. All these factors meant that pillar tables were generally the expensive option, the majority of households opting for the more standard table with legs at the corners. In the eighteenth century these would have been D-ends with lots of legs that moved with gate-leg action, but by the end of the Regency period they had evolved via concertina and other patented mechanisms into the more versatile and strong format of extending dining table with which we are now more familiar (click here).
Supply and demand has meant that of the three varieties of table (pillar, extending and D-end) it is D-ends that have become the most affordable in the 21st century. This is in part because they have many legs that can interfere with guests knees, but also of course because there were many more of this variety made than those with pedestals or columns. Extending tables have proven to be a good investment and good quality or large tables continue to go up in value.
However, it is the rarer pillar tables which are the most sought after and continue to represent the best investment. The design of a three pillar or four pillar dining table, especially those that are pre-Victorian, are sought after because they are elegant and also for practical reasons. The absence of an extending mechanism means no frieze under the edge of the top which means knee room can be as much as 26 to 28 inches below the top to the floor, whereas an extending table might only afford 24". With a pillar table the legs are under the centre of the table and rarely encroach on the leg room of the dinner guest. One of the most important reasons that 18th century pillar tables continue to be so sought after in the 21st century must surely be that they fit well with almost any interior.
Consider the Regency mahogany four pillar dining table shown here - it is made of wonderful timber that is unobtainable today; it is wonderfully elegant; its legs are tucked out of the way; it has lots of leg room; but most of all its design is so restrained that it will match almost any interior design scheme.
If a Regency three or four pillar dining table is still too much for your minimal interior scheme then look at the George III 4 pillar or the George III period mahogany 3 pedestal table pictured below which have no carving or other unnecessary embellishment at all. These tables look wonderful in an eighteenth century interior, but look astounding in a modern interior where they stand out as an object of beauty in their own right.
The table pictured here is a fine and rare Regency mahogany 4 pedestal dining table, circa 1820. Particularly fine figuring to the top and wonderfully well drawn bases. This table is one of the finest examples we have had the privilege to have in our possession and is extraordinarily rare indeed. SOLD
Max length: 255 inches or 21 feet or 647cm
Width: 56 inches or 4'6" or 142cm
||An antique dining table, George III Cuban mahogany three pillar dining table, each pedestal with four splay legs terminating in brass castor feet.
English, circa 1810 £24,500
Length: 11 feet 2 inches (134 inches) 340cm
Width: 4 feet 2 inches (50 inches) 127cm
||A most unusual and interesting George III mahogany three pedestal antique dining table which, when the middle pedestal is used on its own, has two small leaves to round off the edges, making it a stand-alone breakfast table, while the two d-ends can be put against a wall, or clipped together to make a twin pedestal dining table.
English circa 1800 £24,500
Maximum length, with all interleaves installed: 121 inches / 10'1" / 307cm
Overall width: 54.5 inches / 139cm
Length with both interleaves removed: 79.5 inches / 202 cm
Dimensions of middle pedestal with two "mini-leaves": 40inches x 54.5 inches / 102cm x 139cm
When two end pedestals only are used: 53.5 x 54.5 inches / 136cm x 139cm
Height: 28.5 inches / 73cm
||Unusual and versatile William IV mahogany extending breakfast table. This antique dining table is circular when the leaves are removed and either or both of the leaves can be inserted to seat more, while the base remains fixed. The top is 46.5" by 47" wide the mechanism extends to 79.5" English circa 1835 £8,800
||Lovely quality and unusual George III period mahogany Sunderland antique dining table with rare early concertina "scissors action" mechanism which folds down to a Pembroke table, bearing the name "Baldwin" on the hinges, this table has the original leaves, the whole top made of wonderful fine figured dense grained mahogany with ebony stringing to the base and frieze. All in all a charming and very versatile dining table. English circa 1800 £5,500
Length 71.5" max, 57.5" one leaf, 43.5" without leaves, 23" long folded
Width 48" Height 28.5"
||Exceptionally large antique six pedestal mahogany antique dining table, it is a wonderful scale measuring 54" wide and 23 feet long even without any removable leaves. With the addition of 5 extra leaves this table could be as much as 30-33 feet long. English circa 1800
||Early nineteenth century mahogany twin pillar antique dining table standing on four splay platform base, made of very good cut of timber with excellent grain pattern and with original leaf. Can take another leaf if required. English circa 1830
48" wide x 71.5" long
||Charming Regency three pillar mahogany antique dining table with ebony inlay in the manner of George Bullock, with lovely old colour and patination, the top has faded to a wonderful colour, English circa 1815
57" wide (145cm)
13' 11" / 167" long (424cm)
||Good quality George III mahogany dining table, this table is made of dense grained mahogany which has an interesting grain pattern and nice deep colour and patination. The pedestals terminate in generous long four splay base with elegant and rare spade feet. English circa 1790
59 1/2" wide
11' 7 1/4" / 139 1/4" long
||Three pillar dining table standing on four splay bases terminating in brass cups and casters, the leaves are removable and the whole table tilts for easy storage £16,500
154 1/2" long
29 1/2" each leaf
32 1/2" the centre section
31 1/2" each end
||Extremely fine and rare late 18th century mahogany four pedestal dining table by Gillow. English circa 1790. All original, this dining table bears the label or Stair and Andrew who supplied it to the previous owners around 1900.
Perhaps the best one in stock at the moment, this antique table is a very fine example of the late 18th century period of antique pedestal dining tables.
It has the elegant downward four splay base and close reeding on the edge and legs that are typical of the pre Regency period.
It has three removable leaves and the tops tilt and are removable in case you need to pack it away for an after dinner dance.
English circa 1790
19 feet / 228" / 579cm long
67 3/4" / 172cm wide
28" / 71cm high
32" / 81cm each leaf
33" and 33 1/2" / 84cm / 85cm each end
33 1/2" and 33" / 85 / 84 each centre section
Unusual and very versatile antique dining table made by Paine's Furniture Company of Boston Massachusetts, USA.
Paine's were the largest furniture manufacturer in Massachusetts for a long time.
This table extends to 12 feet long and reduces to form a 5 foot wide centre or breakfast table. Once reduced it has the appearance of a normal breakfast table, with all the mechanism hidden underneath and the central support hidden inside the single central pedestal.
American circa 1880 £9,500
Click here for a link to a Paine's Catalogue from 1880.
Click here for a link to some information about the Paine's building.
||Antique twin pillar dining table. This table is a tremendous scale with very generous splay to the legs and huge reeded columns made of a single piece of mahogany. The top is made of huge sheets of dense grained slow growing Cuban mahogany. The whole table is a wonderfully rich colour, despite having faded to a desirable pale colour.
It can take another one or two leaves to make it longer as necessary.
Irish circa 1820 £12,500
||Antique dining table standing on four pedestals, each pillar with four splay legs. This table has an early version of the so called "Regency Knee" and has elegant outswept legs which run almost parallel to the floor at the extremity. This is a very well drawn table which created the impression of space and light so as not to take up visual space in the room. The thin top with reeded edge, reeded legs and delicacy of design are all parts of this overall effect. A very rare and important dining table, this is one of the best.
English circa 1810 £75,000
28 3/4" high
175 1/2" with one leaf
(can be supplied with two more leaves)
Provenance: From the country house of Mrs. Kellogg Lee, Skipton, Maryland
||Antique three pedestal dining table made of huge sheets of really fine quality Cuban mahogany. This table has it all, excellent colour and patination, a wonderful country house scale and outstretched legs which terminate parallel to the ground.
The three tops are made of six huge sheets of timber cut from the same piece to create a symmetrical grain pattern on each section. The edge of the top is double thickness the whole way around. This device is a specifically Irish construction method which increases the strength of the top and keeps the leaves from warping without the need for an obtrusive frieze. As with all tables that have no frieze, this one has plenty of knee room for tall guests.
Irish circa 1820 £58,000
Attributed to William Mack and Gibton. William Mack and Gibton were one of the most important Dublin furniture makers of the period. They supplied many of the important houses of Ireland. They were renowned for bold classical designs, crisp carving, use of the finest timbers and construction quality that was second to none.
15' 3½" long
Antique twin pillar dining table unusually of oak. The timber is good quality with lots of lovely medullary rays. The twin pedestal four splay base is a generous form with good wide stance and slender leg and column. The middle leaf is removable in the normal way and another leaf can be supplied to make the table longer.
English circa 1815 £7,800
62½" no leaf
82½" one leaf
100" or more with an additional leaf
Antique three pedestal dining table with extremely unusual support mechanism. Each end of the table has two swinging arms which attach to the centre section. Almost unique at this early period, this enables the three pillars to support four floating removable leaves. This mechanism also allows for full flexibility as it can also support two leaves in the conventional way, as well as being able to fit together with the three main tables with no floating leaves at all.
This table really has it all, really fine timber, wonderful four splay bases and this unique mechanism for the ultimate in versatility.
English circa 1810 £58,000
Attributed to Gillow of Lancaster and London
95" long with no leaves
118" one leaf
141" long with two leaves
165" with three leaves
188" long with four leaves