Antique Console Table Buying Guide

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Antique Console Table Buying Guide

Owning an antique is a great way of owning a bit of the past and an antique gives the buyer the unique opportunity to see first-hand how a culture or society of people live, socialised and interacted.  Buying an antique gives the buyer the opportunity to experience the development of humankind and see how far civilisation has come in terms of industry, art and culture. Having an antique in the home allows the antique be admired every day for its artistic merit, or be used practically for the function for which it was built.

Tables are objects that are used in homes across the world and are an essential part of human history. Many important events happen around a table. Invented thousands of years ago, the structure of the table remains much the same. Still, tables remain some of the most popular antique items in the market.

Antique console tables are purchased for two main reasons. Some buyers purchase them with the intention of using them to store objects or display art on. Others see antique console tables as a sound financial investment that will reap rewards over time.

This guide will provide a history of the antique console table; explain the parts that make a console table, materials used in making antique console tables and some factors to consider before making the purchase.

History of the Antique Console Table

A console table is a small table, sometimes half-moon shaped, which is fixed to the wall with an ornamental bracket. The invention of the antique console table has been credited to the French furniture industry of the eighteenth century, although they are produced all over the world nowadays.

When first created, the antique console table was considered purely an ornamental object. It only had two legs, meaning that the bracket that fixed it to the wall was necessary to keep it upright. As time went on and the design of the antique console table developed, many were produced with four legs, meaning that the customary bracket was no longer necessary.

This development has meant that the console table became practical and useful as well as decorative, making it a useful addition to many homes. They are often used in hallways to store letters, keys, artwork and other items. After starting out as a superfluous piece of ornamental eighteenth century French design, the antique console table has become, in many homes, a much needed practical piece of furniture.

Discover the Antique Console Table

With its quirky style and unique design, an antique console table can add artistic flair and also practicality to any home. Its inception is typical of bohemian France in the eighteenth century, with style and form coming before practicality. But as with many objects and pieces of furniture, its development mirrored that of society. As advances in industry and technology took hold, the console table became something new and useful, without losing its original allure or charm.

There is an active market for the antique console table, so any buyer wanting to purchase one will find that there are many styles available to choose from – all in varying conditions, from different eras and of contrasting value.

Parts of an Antique Console Table

Antique console tables are, by their very nature, quite small and they do not have many parts. But, each part plays an important role and without any of them the table would not work as it is intended.

Part

Description

Top Surface

The top surface of an antique console table will usually be flat and smooth. It must be strong enough to be able to carry the weight of whatever is placed on it.

Legs

In its original incarnation, the console table only had two legs which meant that the bracket that fixed it to the wall was very important. But then, it started to be made with four legs, negating the need for the bracket.

Bracket

Imperative in early console tables, it fastened the table securely to the wall. Often highly decorative and ornate.

Materials Used in Antique Console Tables

From its invention, many different materials have been used successfully in the production of antique console tables. It has become a piece of furniture that has been developed and brought forward into modern-day living.

Material

Description

Oak

Have natural grain markings which can, sometimes, give it an aesthetic appeal and higher monetary value. It is durable and strong.

Wrought iron

Is extremely tough. If manipulated in the correct way, it can yield decorative and intricate results.

Glass

Aesthetically pleasing, this type of console table can be considered highly decorative. Glass is fragile and can easily be smashed. It can also reflect dirt and prints easily.

Hardwood

A highly dense type of wood which is used successfully in many furniture productions. Has a rough veneer but can be sanded down to a smooth finish.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Antique Console Table

There are actions that should be undertaken before the purchase of an antique console table.

  • Knowledge - The buyer should get to know the product as best as they can. Having as much knowledge as possible will allow the buyer to make informed decisions when it comes to making a purchase. There are reference books in libraries and many internet sites that have lots of relevant information on antique console tables.
  • Check it out/Ask questions - It is advised to check the condition of the antique console table before purchase. If the photos are not clear enough, the buyer must ask for some clearer ones as the condition of the table is very important. Any damage to the antique console table could significantly lower the value of the console table.
  • Measurements - The buyer should ask for exact dimensions of the console table. This will allow the buyer to see if it will fit the space that they have planned for it. Asking for exact dimensions will also mean that there is no confusion when the table is delivered. Sometimes the image of the table in the photograph originally provided may be misleading.

How to Care for an Antique Console Table

Antiques, by their very definition, are objects that are over a hundred years old. This means that they need to be treated delicately and with special care. It is advised that the owner be much more careful when dealing with older pieces of furniture than ones that are relatively new.

When moving or transporting an antique console table, it is important to handle it delicately. Try to hold the table by the top surface and not the legs because, overtime, the legs become the weakest parts of the table.

If the table is going to be used to store drinks or put food on, placemats and coasters should be used. This prevents marks from the bottom of a plate or cup transferring onto the table, something that could significantly reduce the value of the table.

If food or drink is going to be put on the console table, it is advised that a table cloth be used as this will protect the top surface from spillages and scratches.

Accessories for an Antique Console Table

When buying a product like an antique console table, the buyer could consider getting some accessories for the table that will enhance the décor of the room. In addition, things that will help to keep the console table in good condition should also be at hand.

  • Lamp/ Candle holder – This could help to illuminate a hallway, a place where the console table typically resides. Finding a piece of the same era can lend a common theme to the hallway or room.
  • Vase – Vases of a similar period can enhance the collection of antiques in the house. Also, as console tables are often placed in the hallway, a vase of flowers can serve as a welcome to anyone stepping in.
  • Cleaning products – For delicate and old surfaces, a soft cloth or sponge is advised. If cleaning wood, only use a polish twice a year. This should be a beeswax type of polish.
  • Placemats and coasters – These will protect the table from being stained by the wet bottoms of a plate or cup.
  • Table cloth – This will help to keep the table clean.

Finding an Antique Console Table on eBay

Once you determine the type of antique console table you want to purchase, visit the Antiques portal on eBay, click on ‘Tables’, then and start searching item listings. The Categories list on the left-hand side of the eBay page helps to narrow the search.

Searching for Antique Console Tableson eBay

Search eBay listing titles for specific words when shopping for an antique console table. For example, to find a French antique console, table type ‘French Antique Console Table’ into the search box, and then click the Advanced button to customise the results. Also visit eBay’s Search Tips page for more advice on searching for an antique console table with keywords. If you can’t find the console table you want, try shopping eBay Stores.

Conclusion

Antique console tables have been made for hundreds of years and buyers today will get to choose from a wide-ranging variety of these tables, from the ornate and detailed French versions to more classic and practical ones. To ascertain which one to buy, you need to equip yourself with information and research about the different styles in order to be able to find one that suits your home.

Once you have collected this information, you can buy an antique console table safely and securely on eBay.

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