Oak Trestle Table Of Light Type

7 ft. long by 2 ft. 3 ins. deep by 2 ft. 6 ins. high.

Early sixteenth century. Lord Cowdray.

Types Trestles

OAK TABLE (ONE-HALF ONLY;.

Originally 20 ft. long by 2 ft. 7 ins. deep by 2 ft. 10 ins. high. Top 4 ins. thick.

OAK TABLE (ONE-HALF ONLY;.

Originally 20 ft. long by 2 ft. 7 ins. deep by 2 ft. 10 ins. high. Top 4 ins. thick.

The Marquis of Townshend.

as chests, is possible, as the seats may have been low stools. We know that chairs were not used for this purpose.

In the development of table-types, we are compelled to begin with those of trestle form, such as Fig. 125, and to assume that this is the primitive English table. The supports to the heavy top are massive baulks of oak, buttressed on the fronts and backs and at each end, with separate shaped brackets, all cut from oak of large scantling. At Penshurst are two of these huge Gothic tables, similar to the one illustrated here, but of lighter construction, in proportion to their size, which is enormous. The top of one of

OAK TABLE AND FORM (WITH LATER DRAW-TOP).

Table 2 ft. ioi ins. high, 5 ft. 2 ins. long by 1 it. 8i ins. deep. Form 1 ft. 11 ins. high, 5 ft. 5 ins. wide by gl ins. deep.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

these tables measures over twenty-seven feet in length by three in width. In spite of this great size, the top has only the one central support, as in the example shown here. These trestle tables are, originally, of late fourteenth-century date, but none of this period appear to have survived, unless we place the Penshurst tables as early as this. Elm was frequently used for these great tops. An example exists at Bishops Farm, Windsor, where the top is some nine feet in length by three in width, and nearly six inches in thickness, in the one piece, hewn from a mighty elm trunk. It is in fair preservation, in spite of the wood. Unfortunately, elm perishes if not kept actually immersed in water. A plank suspended lengthwise, and without touching the ground, will rot at its lower end, after a comparatively short space of time. In spite of this drawback, or because of this property of the timber not being known, elm was frequently used for the tops of early tables. The wood is not nearly so slow in growth as oak, and the tree is shallow rooted. A violent storm will blow down an elm where it will leave an oak untouched. Elm trees, being thus felled in this manner, would be used, in all probability, instead of oak, for the reason that the}- were ready to hand, and did not require the laborious cutting down which was necessary in the ease of a full-grown oak.

The tables in the old refectory of the Bablake Schools at Coventry, Fig. 126, are also of this trestle type, and have their forms to match. They vary in length from the one in the foreground, to the short table shown at the end. The tops, which appear to be original, are of elm, in three boards, bolted together with long iron dowels bored

OAK SIDEBOARD TABLE RESTORED,.

C ft. 55 ins. long by 2 ft. 4 ins. high by 2 ft. 1 in. deep.

Early sixteenth century. Victoria and Albert Museum.

OAK SIDEBOARD TABLE RESTORED,.

C ft. 55 ins. long by 2 ft. 4 ins. high by 2 ft. 1 in. deep.

Early sixteenth century. Victoria and Albert Museum.

right through from the one side of the top to the other. The two talis shown here differ from each other somewhat, in construction. The small one, at the end of the room, has a heavy top-framing, tenoned into the shaped cross-pieces into which the trestles are fixed. The long table has a massive central rail, running parallel to the length of the top on its centre line, and into this, at right angles, are tenoned broad clamps, which serve to keep the top from warping. In both tables the trestles are tied together by long rails, carried through them in rounded tusk tenons, secured at the outside by wedges. The entire construction is simple and logical, admirable for its purpose in every way. These tables, with their forms, are of early sixteenth-century type, but their actual date is uncertain. The chimney-piece in this room, removed from the house of Sir Orlando Bridgman, has already been illustrated in Vol. I, Fig. 300.

Fig. 131. OAK SIDEBOARD TABLE.

4 ft. 7 ins. wide by 2 ft. 3 ins. deep by 2 ft. 5 ins. high. c. 1550.

W. Smedley Aston, Esq.

It appears to be almost a fixed law, in the case of English furniture, that development is always in the direction of lighter construction. Thus, the table shown in Fig. 127, originally from Cowdray Priory, and now restored, as nearly as possible, to its former home, is late for its type, which is that of the fifteenth rather than of the sixteenth century. There are details, such as the thin top, the slender trestles, and the light stretcher-railings, which indicate a later date, beyTond question. The lesson has been learned here, that massive baulks of oak are not necessarily- permanent by reason of their size, as proper seasoning of bulky timbers is difficult, if not impossible. It is safer to use oak of lesser scantling, which has been thoroughly dried and matured.

Certain table patterns from the fifteenth century remained stabilised for many years after. In the absence of the original types, which have, long since, disappeared, these later copies are useful in indicating a bygone fashion. Thus, Fig. 128 is of early character, but the tapered legs, pierced through from all sides, with the suggestion of a keystone to the arch, cannot be referred to a date earlier than about 1550. This remarkable table, from Rainham Hall in Norfolk, is really the half of one twice its present length, originally on three central supports. Being cut into two portions, demanding a support at either end, one new leg had to be made. In the illustration here, both are

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  • ritva styrman
    How to make a 20 foot trestle table?
    8 years ago

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