Antique Card Tables / Games Tables

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Antique Table History Artciles

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The History of Antique Card Tables / Games Tables

Antique Card Tables or also known as the Antique Games Table was first introduced in the early 18th Century in the Queen Anne design, with figured walnut or Oyster veneering. They stood on cabriole legs, usually with carved decorations like a shell motif  and the legs were on a gate leg action to support the top when opened up. These types of antique tables were uncomfortable to sit at, as the stretchers and legs got in the players way so cabinet makers came up with a better idea. Now tables could be fitted with a single hinged back leg that swung out to support the top and then a concertina mechanism was introduced in the mid 1700’s to extend the back legs and frame. When the tops were open they had dished recesses for candlesticks and wells for counters or coins called counter wells.

Sensational Figured Rosewood Victorian Antique Card / Games Table

During the Late Georgian period Mahogany was the fashionable timber and was easier to work with for the cabinet makers. Gambling and Card playing was more popular than ever and so the designs became more elaborate and the craftsmanship became far superior with super quality timbers used like Rosewood or Satinwood being used. More shapes were introduced along with more robust designs; from the semicircular card tables, decorated with marquetry or cross banding to the Regency swivel top card table, having a top that would now swivel and open with a green baize playing surface, under which can be found a concealed games storage compartment (ideal for card storage). This continued throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods with more unusual designs like the Envelope card table, as games tables were an essential part of entertainment to the household, so a fine piece of furniture was needed to fulfil this purpose.

Quality Edwardian Mahogany Antique Envelope Card Table