Antique pedestal tables are the perfect way for you to bring your kitchen conversation to one central place; perfect for small spaces, this historic table design has lasted centuries to wind up nestled in your kitchen nook or dining room. If you're a new homeowner looking to outfit your empty rooms with the perfect décor or want to change up the look of the house you've been living in for the past twenty years, investing in an antique pedestal table is a great way to do so.
History of Pedestal Tables
Design historians have linked the development of the pedestal table design to the candle-stands, which were used during the 17th century as proto-bedside tables. Eventually, these candle-stands evolved into pedestal tables and gained their first bout of popularity during the early 18th century. Due to the compact designs, these tables were perfectly crafted to utilize small spaces in an elegant, expensive looking way. Besides dining room seating, these tables were used for both writing desks and areas to display various vases and plants. Unsurprisingly, this style hasn't faded into obscurity just yet, and many contemporary manufacturers recreate their own versions of pedestal tables for modern homeowners to buy.
Antique Pedestal Table Styles
Antique pedestal tables actually describe a wide variety of historic furniture styles, all united under the central theme of having a circular or rectangular table resting on a single post with three or four legs reaching out from that post for stabilization. Take a look at these different historic pedestal table styles and see which one best fits with your design aesthetic.
- Sheraton tables - A neoclassical design focused on delicate, straight lines, and light construction; was popular during the early 19th century.
- Shaker tables - Shaker furniture was focused mainly on functionality, so their tables are built with solid, long-lasting construction in mind.
- Victorian tables - These were extremely ornate and featured elaborate design elements like animal's feet and complicated carved details.
- Arts and Crafts tables - Created in response to the Victorian aesthetic, these tables were made to highlight the craftsmanship of clean, well-executed design.
- Art Deco tables - The Art Deco period focused on emphasizing sleek lines and bold, geometric patterns.
Antique Pedestal Table Characteristics
Considering that these tables have been continuously manufactured since the 18th century, there's many differing characteristics that you might encounter on your search for the perfect pedestal table. A few of these characteristics include:
- Round vs rectangle - Most often, pedestal tables are crafted to have round tops, although occasionally you can find a rectangular example, but these are considered rarer.
- Dining vs. side - Size is the predominate factor in determining if an antique pedestal table was meant to be used for dining or for decoration, meaning that tables about forty-two inches in diameter and larger were used for dining and those that are smaller were meant to be used as side tables.
- Animal feet accents - Favored by the Victorian style, though not exclusively used in those designs, you can find examples of antique pedestal tables with claws, cat's paws, and hooves used as decoration.
- Leaves - In terms of table design, leaves refer to prefabricated inserts that can be put into a table to extend its size. Some pedestal tables come with the capability to fit leaves.
Antique Pedestal Table Values
Antique furniture of any kind is rather expensive, and depending on the age and design of an item, a specific piece could easily cost you a few thousand dollars at minimum. Unfortunately, this is also true for antique pedestal tables with some tables costing between $5,000-$10,000, though most examples fall under the $5,000 mark. For example, an antique oak pedestal table from 1910 that comes from the legendary Gustav Stickley manufacturer is listed for a little over $4,000, while a Victorian paw foot, mahogany pedestal table is listed for half of that. Even the half-moon side table varieties of this design can be worth a substantial amount, such as an early 19th century rosewood table recently selling for about $1,500.
How to Clean and Care for Antique Wood Furniture
It's incredibly important when you're caring for any antique wood furniture to make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from moisture, as these two things can significantly damage the natural material. In addition, you never want to use aerosol polishes or wood cleaners as these often include harmful chemicals that can damage your wood's surface. Polishing your antique wooden furniture with a safe, rich wood polish using a soft rag or microfiber cloth about once a year will help keep your wood grain healthy and encourage it to build up a wonderful patina over time.
Bring the Round Table Home With You
Reminiscent of King Arthur's legendary round table, antique pedestal tables imbue a sense of elegance and history to any room they're settled into. It doesn't matter how much space you have available, or what design aesthetic you're committed to recreating, there's an antique pedestal table out there for you to help elevate your home to the next level.