The Victorians loved to own and display objects which they could show off to their family and friends, and for this reason there were very few rooms in a Victorian house which didn’t house a display or side table of some description.
Any number of items were displayed on these Victorian side tables, from lamps and vases, to potted plants, ceramics, wax flowers, clocks and even books and newspapers. Some table styles were ostentatious revivals of earlier periods, and used purely for show, where other examples were plainer and more functional. Designs of table were therefore often hand picked to suit certain rooms in the house. Drawing rooms, for example, could have grandly gilded rosewood examples reminiscent of the Rococo and Regency periods, where the hall might have had a more sombre Elizabethan oak copy, and the servants quarters a no frills Victorian pine example. Antique dining room table examples were often multifunctional and had casters which gave them the appearance of exotic dinner trolleys.
These many varieties and styles of side table, although different, all had certain things in common. They were generally of a similar size, often 3ft by 2ft, and were designed to be placed alongside a wall where any drawers, ornamentation and fine decoration such as inlaid friezes and carved legs and stretchers could only be seen from the visible sides. The backs of these tables that sat against the walls rarely had any form of ornamentation at all.
Anyone interested in Victorian antique tables in Lancashire or Cumbria, should visit a local antiques dealer who will advise on the many differing styles and functions of these widely used pieces.
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