HUGE STOCK OF QUALITY ORIGINAL ENGLISH ANTIQUE FURNITURE
ANTIQUE DINING TABLES UK LONDON REGENCY VICTORIAN OAK MAHOGANY PEDESTAL EXTENDING
Elisabeth James are the last of a rare breed of old fashioned professional antique dealers acquiring only original untouched quality antique furniture. We specialise in antique dining tables and hold the largest stock of genuine antique dining furniture in the World. All of our pieces are restored bespokely to your specification, matched to chairs and sideboards, etc.. and everything is hand finished to the finest West End standards at a fraction of the retail price.
12ft Round Extending Victorian Mahogany Dining Table
Handsome late Victorian mahogany extending table formed in the round and opening via substantial runner system to incorporate any combination of four extension leaves to seat from 6 to 14 people comfortably. Solid figured timber top standing on bold cabriole formed legs with peg feet. Really grotty old finish currently but price includes hand French polishing to your chosen shade by our in house team of experts. See Videos and Feedback pages on our website for examples. Measures 144" long fully extended and 48" diameter closed.
Large Antique Oak Dining Table From Late 19th Century
Very solid quality late Victorian oak wind out table with solid quarter sawn oak D shaped top, opening via steel winder and runner system to incorporate any combination of leaves to provide seating for 8 to 16 people. Standing on turned legs terminating in porcelain casters and currently with scrub top but price includes hand polishing by our expert in house team to your chosen shade and finish. See Videos and Feedback pages for examples of the standard of our work. Measures 144" long fully extended x 54" wide.
12ft Antique Oak Extending Dining Table From Late Victorian 19th Century Period
Very refined late 19th Century oak wind out table with solid quarter sawn oak top. D shaped at the ends and with drop mouldings to the edge. Opens via steel winder and runner system to incorporate any combination of leaves to provide seating for 8 to 16 people. Standing on finely turned and crisply carved legs terminating in porcelain casters. In tired old Victorian finish currently but price includes hand French polishing by our in house team to your chosen shades. See Videos and Feedback pages for examples of the standard of our work. Measures 140" long fully extended x 53" wide.
10ft Victorian Arts & Crafts Wind Out Extending Oak Dining Table
Really crisp quality late 19th Century oak extending table with solid quarter sawn top, canted at the corners and drop moulded to the edge. Opening via runners system and steel winder to incorporate any combination of three leaves, providing seating for 6 to 14 people. Standing on fine turned legs with fluted shoulders and currently in mature warm finish but possible for our in house team of hand French polishers to achieve any shade or finish you require. See our Videos and in Reviews section. Measures 120" long fully extended by 48" wide.
6ft Diameter Jacobean Revival Oak Farmhouse Drop Leaf Kitchen Table
Quality and beautifully patinated 6ft diameter oak drop leaf gateleg table with thick plank top over pegged tenon frame and gated baluster turned legs. Great family workhorse to seat 10 people comfortable and easy to drop the leaves to push to one side when needed. Measures 72" diameter.
12ft 4 Metre Regency Mahogany Triple Pedestal Dining Table
Very best of the 19th Century revival of Regency mahogany pedestal dining tables with demi end reeded edge top to a beautiful highly figured hand cut solid timber. With three sections and two leaves quite versatile seating formats for 6 to 14 adult comfortably and standing on very elegant sweeping sabre reeded legs terminating in brass lions paw feet. Currently in untouched original condition, so not at its best, but pour price includes expert French polishing to your chosen shade, match chairs, etc.. Measures 140" long x 48" wide.
The internet seemingly reveals many opportunities to buy antique dining tables but please, please do not mistake our genuine products, expert restoration and hand French polishing for the spray finished Far East plywood reproductions generally on sale on Ebay and other unregulated sales platforms. You will find many advertisements deceptively worded in sales dialogue as 'style' or 'vintage' tables by many independent companies in their 'antique dining tables' pages but these are simply cheaply made modern reproductions so please be careful.
10ft Arts & Crafts Oak Library Desk Meeting Table
Beautifully constructed late Victorian large scale library or meeting table with leather inset top (you can choose your own colour and tooling) over aproned frame and standing on tapering square formed legs with spade feet. Measures 118" long x 48" wide.
3 Metre Jacobean Design Antique Oval Formed Drop Leaf Wake Table
Following the very early designs of wake table this particularly large oval formed drop leaf table will seat 12 people comfortable but also folds away to pushed to one side when needed. Make fantastic and very sociable family table in a large kitchen area. We haven't done any finishing work on this example yet so possible to achieve any shade or finish you require for your setting. Measures 108" long x 72" wide.
Large Round Victorian Oak Dining Table To Seat Up To 10 People
Large round tables are pretty rare but in oak perhaps the most elusive of all. We are pleased to offer this bvery well made late 19th Century example with solid quarter sawn top standing on finely turned and reeded legs. Is currently in untouched original condition but possible to polish any shade you require (see examples on our videos page). Measures 69" diameter.
3 Metre Antique Victorian Oak Library Meeting Table Or Executive Desk
Large late Victorian oak leather top library desk format of meeting table with demi end leather inset top and standing on turned and reeded legs. Seems to have a Chairman's placing so equally this piece may have been made for as an executive piece for directors within an office. Well made throughout and choice of leathers possible. Measures 132" long x 48" wide.
4 Metre Regency Mahogany Extending Dining Table To Seat 14 to 16 people
Late Regency period mahogany dining table formed from a drop leaf Pembroke format so quite literally can be closed away to a side table, yet extends out with any combination of leaves to seat up to 16 people. Solid figured D ended top with thumb moulding, opening via banks of runners to incorporate leaves and standing on very fine Gillows reeded legs terminating in brass casters. Very versatile table from the rare early experimental period of runner system innovation. Measures 156" long fully extended by 50" wide.
Long Set Of Twenty Two Antique Victorian Oak Dining Chairs Of Arts Crafts Taste
Rare set of late Victorian Arts & Crafts Oak dining chairs with high crested backs supported by rails meeting drop in seat and standing on square formed tapering legs united by H stretchers. Need upholstery doing (included in price) but well preserved set in natural golden oak.
22 Feet Long 19th Century Regency Mahogany Extending Pedestal Dining Table
Very good and extremely rare size of Victorian era Regency revival mahogany quadruple pedestal table with four tops supported by sabre reeded leg bases and three extension leaves between to offer very versatile lengths and seating numbers. The table is very sun faded currently but has beautiful hand cut Cuban timbers and price includes finishing by our in house hand French polishers to any shade you require. Tables of this calibre are on sale with retail dealers for £50,000+ but we are here to trade should you require something this spectacular at a bargain price. Measures 264" x 48" wide
18ft Antique Oak Dining Table From Early 19th Century
Incredibly rare format of early concept console ended table in this size and even more rare to be in oak so imagine probably came from the Northern regions originally. Designed to close away to consoles at the side of the room but then joins to form runner system table opening to incorporate any combination of leaves to provide appropriate seating for 6 to 22 adults very comfortable. Currently quite dry and patinated by price includes polishing by our in house experts to any finish you require. Measures 192" long x 60" wide.
Large Antique William IV Period C1830 Mahogany Extending Dining Table
A great survivor this untouched early extending dining table has a fine solid mahogany top, ogee moulded at the edge and supported by finishing apron. Standing on six finely turned and faceted legs terminating in brass casters. Good to go with a wax but possibly to finish to any shade you require via our in house French polishers. Measures 140" long x 52" wide.
Antique Regency Pedestal Dining Table To Seat Up To 16 People
Smart Regency revival table from last Century with book matched flame mahogany top supported by three sabre leg bases and two extension leaves to provide very flexible seating for 8 to 16 people. Measures 144" long x 48" wide
Large Arts & Crafts Influenced Antique Oak Refectory Table To Seat 10 People
Not hugely old but magnificently built and very stylish example with incredibly thick top (half a tree!) supported by curved X frame base. Currently in natural oak but possibly to polish to your chosen shade. Dance on top indestructible workhorse with appealing look! Measures 96" long x 36" wide.
Antique Mahogany Round Dining Table Frome Late Regency Period
Truly stunning example of the finest cabinet work from the late Regency period this perfectly preserved example offers a radial segmented flame top with drop apron and stands on a faceted column meeting platform base supported by scroll feet. Of the desirable larger size to seat 6 adults very comfortably for dining and would make super centre piece for hallway or drawing room. Measures 54" diameter.
Antique Oak Round Table Of Large 5ft Diameter To Seat 8 People Comfortably
Very impressive built Jacobean styled solid oak table with thick panel and cleated top over central pedestal base of turned columns and sleigh feet. Lovely patination and very solid statement piece to seat 8 adults very comfortably. Measures 63" diamter.
Almost impossible to encapsulate Centuries of antique furniture construction design in a potted history but to help for your interest we’ve included links below to useful references within this antique furniture snapshot. As Arthur Negus (face of BBC Antiques Roadshow) once said, when asked ‘did he have any career regrets’ (after a lifetime career of 60 years as a foremost antique furniture expert) he is quoted - ‘only in as much as I don’t feel I’ve had enough time to learn’! This comment makes any true antique furniture specialist smile and nod because we really appreciate the sentiment about the expansive and diverse history that takes a lifetime or more to learn.
Of course today lifetime antique furniture specialists are a rare breed indeed as so many of our greatest antique minds have left the business due to their, seemingly, unrequired knowledge in such an indiscriminate market. The internet appears to most consumers as one large shop window, when in actual fact it is mostly a window of misinformation and often false advertising in a relatively unregulated market. This is the ‘antique furniture’ market today and the subtle differences between good and bad pieces has been somewhat lost in the translation unfortunately. As one old friend described, who has been forced to retire early from the antiques business, ‘what a mess today, with antiques auctions not legally responsible for describing anything correctly and ‘antiques dealers’ who don’t know what they are selling to people who don’t know what they are buying’!
However, if you are reading this then you have at least found an enthusiastic dinosaur (old family business) still proudly selling quality original antique furniture with bespoke traditional hand finishing by experienced professional restorers and polishers.
Antique Furniture History
Doubtless ever since man first found a flat rock or fallen tree to sit, eat or dance on we have used and created useful pieces of furniture to enhance our lives and dwellings. Archaeologists have found plenty of evidence to suggest we weren’t all spending our days thumping each other with clubs and perhaps even created quite civilised dwellings containing useful furnishings. No way of knowing today what the average cave man had as a taste in his furniture but most certainly wasn’t Ikea – we hope!!
Perhaps the first surviving pieces we could safely describe as ‘antique furniture’ are from the tombs of ancient Worlds. Most notably might be the Egyptians whose interest in preserving for the after life . Tutankhamun is perhaps the most famous due to the amazing preservation of the entire contents of his burial chamber which did include various furniture such as tables, beds, chairs, tables, etc.. which do reflect quite sophisticated furniture designs, construction techniques and decoration most similar in concept perhaps to the Louis XV & XVI furniture we understand today.
Earliest English Antique Furniture Surviving Today
In terms of English cabinet made furniture there are examples in museums dating back to Medieval periods but for the antique furniture market today (other than the the Revival of Gothic and Jacobean in the late 19th Century) we would perhaps consider Elizabethan period of the 16th Century to be a very early date for an antique furniture piece. Almost exclusively surviving from this early period are pieces constructed from oak but most indigenus English hardwoods were used and often the furniture was painted quite brightly and any articulations being carvings or if upholstered maybe leather or tapestry work. The jointing method was almost exclusively pegged mortice and tenon joints, with which the absence of glue actually proved to be a very lasting technique.
Medieval 15th to 17th, Elizabethan, Jacobean, Gothic, James, Charles, William & Mary Antique Furniture
The 17th Century antique oak furniture of the James I, Charles I, Charles II and William & Mary periods of reign has survived in fairly available quantitues if the heavy made cabinet furniture such as court cupboards, side tables, sideboards, single chairs and boxes or coffers. We very rarely see original antique dining tables, which would be refectory tables for this period, as probably nearly the exclusive ownership of the elite wealthy at the time. Most folk would be huddled around a fire gratefuly dipping bread in meat stock rather than sitting for dinner around a grand dining table served by staff.
A degree of sophistication came in the very late 17th and early 18th Century in the reigns of William III and Queen Anne. Provincial furniture was almost certainly still constructed from oak and fruitwoods but, with the introduction of veneering as a technique, some quite eyecatching and aesthetic pieces were commisoned for the wealthy. It is possible today to buy Queen Anne walnut chests, tallboys, side tables and cabinets constructed with pine and oak carcas but adorned in exotic walnut and oyster veneers. Indeed this styling was later used buy the Victorians for their drawing room furniture and into the early 20th Century again when their was a revival of the taste.
From the English colonies in the early 18th Century came the first mass imported mahogany timbers and, in a matter of decades, mahogany became the core timber for furniture construction. During the late George I period and early George II a fashionable and wealthy household now included a much finer looking structure of furniture from the evolution of the Queen Anne. The first mahogany was from Jamaica and was incredibly dense, heavy and rich purple red in tone and polished beatifully. By the middle of the 18th Century mahogany became a must and, with especial contribution of designs from the directory (The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director) produced by Thomas Chippendale, pretty much all of the antique furniture surviving from this period today will be of mahogany.
Original English Georgian Early Period Antique Furniture George I, George II
In terms of fully interior decorating a house today with original Georgian period antique furniture then this late George II period and early George III of the mid/late 18th Century is the first period where we could safelly say that the entire repertoire of antique home furnishings can be sourced. Within our own stock we will often have an 18th Century antique dining table dating from the 1770s in Cuban mahogany and associated sets of antique dining chairs, sideboards, cabinets, bookcases, cellerets, chests of drawers, tallboys, linen presses, side tables, etc.. It would be possible to furnish an entire Georgian house with original antique furniture from this period quite affordably.
George III, George Hepplewhite, Thomas Sheraton Late 18th Century Georgian Antique Furniture
Battles with Napolean in the late 18th Century left as bereft of imported mahoganies for the colonies, as merchant fleets were deployed carrying arms to the fleets, and two new designers emerged who further refined furniture design through force of timber supply problems. It was George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton in the 1780s through to early 1800s who introduced the very elegant and clean lined Georgian furniture and interior designs, often inlaid with boxwood and marquetry panel work. Although not a prolific period of construction we do have surviving some superb furniture from this late George III period and, as with a great number of the noted periods of our history, the late Victorians and Edwardians revived the Sheraton design quite prolifically so it is possible collect this George III furniture look on a much lower budget.
Late George III, Regency, George IV Original Antique Furniture
Into the early 19th Century, presumably from lessoning of our wars and economic growth through further colonisation of the World, the late George III period and leading into the Regency became quite a prolific period of furniture construction. Again very refined and elegant pieces were made for the growing number of wealthy houses in England using a combination of all techniques and styles of previous periods. Surviving today we have all the Regency antique furniture required to furnish an entire house affordably. The original Regency cabinet furniture is plentiful and there are a few surviving antique dining tables from this period, which would be the Regency pedestal dining table that we are all familier with, but would now also include the inventions of Gillows of Lancaster (runner system) and Wilkinson (concertina action). With the emergence of the large City town houses, as can be seen in London formostly, it seems the cabinet makers of the time set about making dining tables that were metermorphic in action for these slightly small dwellings compaired to the large country estate homes where a large banqueting table could be deployed at all times. Various designs survive today and Elisibath James always hold a stock of both original and Revival Regency pedestal tables, occasionally a Regency period concertina action extending table and regularly the Gillows type console end extending dining tables. This period is most certainly the first where a customer can find original period antique dining tables and sets of dining chairs affordably and the cabinet furniture for the drawing room, bedroom, etc.. has all survived in quantities to allow even the best pieces to be sold at prices akin to the plywood reproductions imported from China, etc.. by companies claiming (we know many individuals who sadly have fallen victim to the misleading internet marketing) to sell ‘English Antiques..’ such as Canonbury Antiques and Regent Antiques.
Post Regency William IV & Victorian Antique Furniture, 19th Century Antiques
When William IV came to the throne, after the Georgian period of 100 years, English cabinet making had discovered and deployed pretty much all of the Worlds timbers, construction techniques and designs. The transition from the late Regency into William didn’t show too much change but the subtle signs we understand today include some touches of carving, from the former very clean lines, introduction of Honduras mahogany from Cuban, tulip and facet legs on chairs and tables and generally a move towards as slightly more fluid look to designs with curving of corners, etc… from the very angular archetectural of the Georgians. William IV period was of very high quality still and seemingly a quite prolific period considering the quantity of original antique furniture we have surviving today.
When Victoria came to the throne it was naturally that a more femanine touch came into being. We understand Victoria’s travels to the Riviera perhaps inspired her taste for a revival of a Rococo influences in furniture. It would be hard not to be impressed by the opulant and bright tastes of the French and Italians and so it was that English furniture inherited many Continental characteristics. Sideboards were backed with bold carved trailing floral decoration, cupids appeared and scrolling corbels on cabinet pieces. The balloon chairs often decoratively carved and cabriole Louis legs were a must for the parlour. Albeit mahogany was still the mainstay timber, the drawing room now might well be a very light and femanine decor with burr walnut davenports, loo tables and whatnots.
Queen Victorians reign benefited from the 60 years or so legacy of the English Industrial Revolution and the UK was extremely wealthy indeed. Having colonised around 60% of the World, Britania was in full swing! Our major towns had grown to Cities and the population rising rapidly. The middle classes emerged and home ownership possible outside of the wealthy elite. It is little wonder therefore that this Victorian period needed to produce furniture quite prolifically and so much has survived today due to the lasting quality.
For the antique furniture entheusiast today it is quite likely that it would be cheaper to furnish a house in original Victorian furniture than to purchase supposedly quality furniture from somewhere like John Lewis. For the shrewd, who admire quality furniture, it is probably only the negative marketing of the home furnishing lifestyle magazines for the last 15 years, that causes any doubt about the real value for money that antique furniture offers today. Of course not everything we need for a modern lifestyle was made back then but for a quality antique dining table, set of dining chairs and sideboard perhaps, to create a beautiful setting in a Victorian dining room, there is simply no better quality available for the money outside of the original antique furniture pieces. Today an antique desk, bookcase, wardrobe, chest of drawers or all the common housefold furniture is available at very reasonable prices and, if selectively choosing the best quality, will provide any purchaser with a long lasting and appreciable piece when acquired from a reputable antique furniture specialist and restored properly.
Late Victorian, Edwardian and Revival Furniture
Towards the end of the 19th Century much of the World we understand today could have been recognised. Electricy, railways, cars and airoplains existed and the bustling Cities with retail shops. Indeed the end of the 19th Century saw significant evolution from a long period of Victorian furniture design. Many former designs from the Georgian and Regency period, Gothic and Jacobean were revived and made again but the work of new thinkers such as Rennie MacIntosh, picking up on the earlier work of Pugin, with evololution of early designs within the growing Arts & Crafts movement and Art Nouveou as an expression of the new modern World. With such an eclictic taste for around 20 years it almost serves as a summary of 500 years of English furniture design. With our speciality in antique dining tables this period provides everything from a heavily carved Githic refectory, a convention Victorian oak extending through to a Regency styled mahogany pedestal table which all might have been made for the varying tastes in the same street in London. So much like today, the folk commisioning furniture simply acquired to their taste.
With retailing furniture makers now in the High Street or marketing themselves, as opposed nearly purely bespoke made local furniture, companys such as Edwards & Roberts, Maple & Co, Liberty, James Shoolbred, etc.., the wealthy classes were lured to quality named brands for their furniture in much the same way as
With the loss of the Colonies mahogany no longer came in so freely and the English cabinet makers reverted to indiginous species and pine. Oak and walnut were the two timbers predominately used for large solidly built furniture, such as dining tables, chest, chairs, etc.. and veneering work in burr walnut, mahogany and decoratove embelishments in satinwood, boxwood, kingwood. Cheaper furniture was constructed from pine and often grain painted with beech used as a budget timber in the solid with stain coating to replicate mahogany perhaps.
The Edwardian period saw a great Revival in the Sheraton taste and fine and elegant mahogany furniture with inlays and bandings were made up until the First World War. Post war, with econimic constraint and a country rebuilding itself, a more economic approach was taken for foruniture construction and again. A brief Queen Anne revival in the 1930s with burr walnuts now laid on plywood and a mix of every former history of furniture design seemingly made ever since.