Where the television is classed as one of the popular forms of entertainment today, this is only a recent phenomenon compared to playing cards – which has been popular for well over four hundred years now and still remains so. The card table, like the television, was central to any drawing room and much prominence was placed on it. Part of its popularity was due to it being a multifunctional piece of furniture where the green velvet, or baize, top used for card playing had to be protected so was hinged across and covered by the folding bottom half of the table top. It could then remain as an ornamental antique table to be placed along the wall.
Some of the most prized period examples of antique card tables today herald from the Queen Anne and Regency periods. Queen Anne card tables were usually made of walnut and standing on four cabriole legs often decorated with carved shells on the knees and sitting on claw and ball feet. The back legs were often less elaborate and usually hinged so that the table could be pulled away from the wall and the legs pushed out to support the hinged drop down flap, which exposed the green baize for card playing. Later Regency examples of the card table had a central column rather than four legs and were made of rosewood or mahogany and often inlaid with brass scrollwork. The mechanics of the table also differed where instead of folding out and needing leg support like earlier Queen Anne examples, swivel tops created a firmness of structure without the need for extra leg support.
Fine examples of period and revival antique card tables and other antique furniture can be found by contacting antiques specialists in Lancashire and Cumbria.
No comments yet.