robin wheatley antiques
We are available Wednesday to Saturday, between 10am and 5pm, 4 days a week. Although closed on Sunday’s, Mondays and Tuesdays. It will be possible to arrange viewings outside our normal opening hours, via appointment – please call to discuss.
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Prior to the 16th century dining tables were of a quite basic form, being of a plank table top resting on a simple trestle base. During the 16th century dining tables became more refined and the refectory table was the height of fashion. Consisting often of a long planked top resting on a four or more legged base united by peripheral stretchers. The frieze and often large bulbous legs were decorated with carving. The draw leaf table was similar to the refectory table in that it was of refectory form but with pull out leaves kept under the main top. The idea of this was to give additional length when required.
During the first half of the 17th century the gateleg table came into use. Often of oval form but could be rectangular the gateleg table had drop down leaves which allowed the table to be stored when not in use. Being often oval in shape by the latter part of the 17th century the gateleg table was very popular as everybody could be involved in conversation when sitting in the round and hence gateleg tables continued to be made until well into the 18th century.
Drop leaf tables in many ways more simple to use than the gate leg table because the gate under the table was now replaced by a single leg which swung out as a support for the leaves continued the theme of drop down leaves throughout the 18th century.