Solid wood coffee tables

by sharon on December 2, 2009


The first wooden tables, in Britain, specifically designed as and called coffee tables, were made during the late Victorian era.
There is a table designed by E.W. Godwin in 1868 and made in large numbers by William Watt and Collinson and Lock which is listed as a coffee table in ‘Victorian Furniture’ by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray and also in ‘The Country Life book of English Furniture’ by Edward T. Joy. If this was indeed called a coffee table at the time, it may be one of the first examples of a coffee table made in Europe. Other sources, however, merely list it as a table so it is hard to be sure. What is notable about this table is that it is not a low table at all, but is actually about 27 inches high.Another relevant factor is that, in the 20th century when coffee tables became increasingly popular, it was not unknown for the legs of tables, even antique tables, to be shortened to make a coffee table. This could falsely create the idea that  coffee tables had originated at the earlier date that the table had been made.

Documents from the 17th and 18th century do not yield any mention of coffee tables. A search of Samuel Pepys Diary, (1633-1703), for instance reveals hundreds of references to the coffee house and to tables of various kinds but no reference to coffee tables. Nor can one find an example of a coffee table design in the pattern books of Thomas Sheraton or George Hepplewhite.

Our website covers all aspects or free form natural edged coffee tables, the choices of timber is varied from oak, burr elm, cedar and even imported timber from New Zealand and America, we will work with you to achieve the look that you want and will personally hand pick the timber to the size, length, thickness and the type of timber that you require, we will help you decide on the type of finish of your bespoke unique handcrafted coffee table so that it will fit in with the environment that it is to be used in.


The first picture is known as Pippy oak which is finished in a high gloss resin and the second picture is cedar which is finished a specially formulated varnish and then beeswax, we have a number of handcrafted and unusual table tops on our tables under construction heading which we can finish to your specification, alternatively we can source the timber of your choosing.

The piece below is known as American buckeye and as yet it is unfinished, could this be the piece for you ?

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