The Antique Side Table is a term used for many different types of smaller antique table. They were designed to sit against a wall, hence the name ‘Side Table’ but there are so many to mention.
The earliest form is probably the Low boy, a provincial early table intended to be used as a dressing table or occasional use. They originated in the 18th century and made from locally sourced English oak or walnut. They have one or two drawers on the front with small brass handles.
The Georgian era, produced the pier and console tables, made for the wealthier client, usually in neo-classical designs, without back legs, so screwed to the wall.
The Sofa Table was had two drop leaves on the sides and was designed to be just behind the sofa against the wall. As they had castors, it could be easily moved in front of the sofa when needed, for drinking tea, playing card games or for writing.
The Tea Table, was made to sit at the side, but would open to double the size when serving tea. Again, this was sat on castors, so could easily be moved into the room when needed. These would be built in more exotic woods like rosewood or Mahogany.
The Writing Table only had one specific purpose, to sit against the side of a room, but have a leather top for writing on, and drawers for storage. These were extremely popular in the Victorian period.
The Sutherland Table was a sweet, smaller side table, very narrow in size that opened up into a large occasional table when needed. They were very popular in the Victorian and Edwardian home, used when entertaining.
The Work Table was a smaller side table that was designed to store needle work and fabrics. These elegant tables, were kept to the side but again as they sat on castors, could easily be moved to the chair, where the Lady would sit and do her sewing.
There are many more designs of tables, uniquely built throughout history, and you can see our full guide on our blog, this includes styles, history and designs.