An Unusual 19thC Country House Painted Oak & Iron Trestle Table c.1870

Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-80
Length: 71.75”
Width:  33”
Height: 27.75” (all at top)

The Victorian folding trestle table of good size and colour, with the original iron stays, having a rectangular six-plank top in English oak with each end unusually period painted in a pistachio green, the whole on stretchered block legs and surviving from a country house estate.

The condition of the table is chequered and very much of the country house, it is tired, well used and has some old worm to the legs. We have gently oiled and waxed the top to restore her now beautiful colour. There are no associated parts and she is as original as one could hope for with one iron strut repair to one of the legs and with the hinges and stays all iron and all original, though all with rust. The plank has some marks and scratches consistent with age and use; and some expected wear to the painted ends giving a decorative appearance, and has a strut added to one end. Overall the table is in useable order but may need some restoration work in the future if it ends up being transported on a regular basis.

The Trestle table is probably the earliest form of wood dining table and is an early achievement of structural engineering, being portable yet sturdy. It was became very popular in the middle ages when castles and forts were designed to protect a large group of people. A common room could be used to for activities and dining by setting up two trestles and a large slab of wood on top. The table could then be disassembled and the room could then be used for dancing or games. When it came time to sleep folks could lay out straw mats and use the room as a bedroom. This Victorian example has a tavern table feel and the painted ends may suggest a use beyond the norm, though we could only speculate as to what that may be; we have never seen this before on a table top.

An attractive and relatively early example of a trestle table with a wonderful colour and a quirky twist.