Solid Wood Occasional Tables
Occasional tables produced by Hepplewhite were of an extremely decorative nature, the tops in particular, with much use of satin wood or solid mahogany inlaid with great detail.
We see a number of different types of table here: Pembroke tables had two flaps and were normally oval or rectangular in shape; card tables, when closed and standing against a wall, looked like pier tables and had a folding top of semi-oval or modified rectangle shape.
Pier tables were generally longer however and were lacquered on a soft wood with raised ornamentation that was gilded. The tops were often painted.
¶ Tables are of various kinds, adapted to the several uses for which they are intended: in general, tables are made of the best solid mahogany wood. Their size very various; but their height should not exceed 28 inches.
¶ Card tables may be either square, circular or oval: the inner part is lined with green cloth; the fronts may be enriched with inlaid or painted ornaments; the tops also admit of great elegance in the same styles. Plate 61 shows four designs proper for inlaid or painted tops for card tables.
¶ Pembroke tables are the most useful of this species of furniture: they may be of various shapes. The long square and oval are the most fashionable. These articles admit of considerable elegance in the workmanship and ornaments. The designs on Plate 63 are proper for tops, inlaid, or painted and varnished.
¶ Pier tables are become an article of much fashion; and not being applied to such general use as other tables, admit, with great propriety, of much elegance and ornament. Four designs for pier tables are shown, with their proper ornaments; and also four designs for tops, which show as many various plans.
¶ The height of pier tables varies from the general rule, as they are now universally made to fit the pier, and rise level with or above the dado of the room, nearly touching the ornaments of the glass if the latter, the top fits close to the wall.
¶ Tambour writing table is a very convenient piece of furniture, answering all the uses of a desk, with a much lighter appearance. Plate 67 shows a design with two drawers, and the reeds thrown back. Plate 68 is another design, with four long drawers, with a Wide to write on-: the Rap in which lifts up, and may be adjusted to any height by means of the foot or flop behind.
¶ Plate 69 shows a design for one with a bookcase on it; the doors to which are intended to be made of, and ornamented with, metal frames; these painted of a light, or various colours, produce a lively and pleasing effect. The reeds are here drawn forward to show the appearance when shut.
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