Many tables that we use today are designed to be functional in a smaller space where they can be used for family dining but also extended for occasional dinner party use. These modern tables all are direct descendants of the antique dining table known as the Pembroke table which came into existence from the 1750s onwards and continues to be popular to this day.
The functional design of early examples of the Pembroke table fitted in well with the simpler lines of the neo-classical period. The table which was used as an occasional piece of furniture, had side flaps which could be extended to give a rectangular or oval top from which to serve food. They also generally contained one or more drawers and had four legs. Their smaller size meant that they could be stored, moved about and used for writing, dining, taking tea or other occasional use.
The small scale of these pieces plus the opportunities for cabinet makers to focus on best quality cabinetry and veneers produced a top quality, highly functional piece of furniture that was beautiful in its simplicity, and yet also fitted into the smaller drawing rooms of the upper middle classes and the larger staterooms of the nobility. Hence this antique dining table had a general appeal.
The functionality and design of the Pembroke table transcends time to remain popular today as a useable antique table and remains much sought after for modern use and can be viewed or purchased through Preston and other antique furniture dealerships.
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