Thursday, May 14, 2009

What do the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Antique Coffee Tables all have in Common?

Antique coffee tables. I get asked for them constantly. 

But brace yourself. It's time you knew the truth. Antique coffee tables are just like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. They don't exist. 

Ok, I'm not totally sure about the Fairy. But I'm positive there's no Easter Bunny or antique coffee tables.
So for those poor souls who've been searching for years for that perfect antique coffee table, you can call off the search.

Coffee tables, as we know them today, were invented in the 1920's and so by definition can't be antiques (which need to be at least 100 years old-I won't say "do the math" but I really want to).

The best you can hope for is a table "made up of antique elements." That's when separate parts from different antiques are cobbled together ("married") to create a single piece of furniture, in this case a coffee table.

More likely, you'll find a coffee table with an antique top and a later (meaning new or newer) base. Here's a beauty that has a 19th century scagliola slate top set into an antique-looking French walnut base that we created in our workshops:

And here's another pretty coffee table made up of a 19th century antique lacquered papier-machè (pronounced "pa pyay ma SHAY") tray on a later base:

But what if you absolutely positively MUST have an antique coffee table? Then repurpose an antique trunk, bible box, or other genuine antique. Here's an 18th century oak trunk that would work great as a coffee table.

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