In Europe, the first tables specifically designed as and called coffee tables, appear to have been made in Britain during the late Victorian era, although the coffee table didn't really become a prominent furnishing until the late 19th century and the earliest examples are most commonly an oriental low table style, such as the one below.
The first, and our personal favourite furnishing to use as a practical and stylish coffee table are chests or trunks. These are not only excellent for providing extra storage, they look great and make very sturdy and stylish coffee tables. Take the trunk below for example, this is an early 19th century leather bound camphor trunk. Both well built and a perfect height (41cm), this trunk would give personality to a modern house or add to the overall style of an older house.
Our final idea and the most popular over the past few years is a butlers tray and stand, reduced in height to provide an ideal coffee table. These classic traditional trays with the modern convenience of a height reduction are both popular and practical. Butlers used to serve drinks standing and so originally these antique trays would have been around waist high, and although we occasionally stock full height items, by far the most popular use is as a coffee table.
Oak Butlers Tray Coffee Table (Circa 1850)
Our insight draws to a close, although our website never closes so take a look through our current stock for further inspiration or pop into our Newcastle shop to see every item in person. We are often asked to look for an item similar to an item a customer may have seen that is now sold, so do get in touch to make particular requests. 0044(0)191 281 5065 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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