How to Buy an Affordable Antique Table

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How to Buy an Affordable Antique Table

* Originally a candle holder but also a decorative table for small items.

* More ornamental than functional.


Flip-top table with a large top that can be swung back to create a chair.

* Both a table and a chair.

* More common when households had less furniture.


Chinese design that is long, low and rectangular with short legs.

* Was used as a bed during the Ming and Qing Dynasties in China.

* May not be practical.


A small, light table with two hinged leaves that can be extended for more surface area, and slim legs with X stretchers placed for stability.

* Lightweight, portable, easily expanded.

* Versatile for events and dinner parties.


A variation on the pedestal table but with three legs.

* Movable and easily stored.

* Appropriate for use as a side table.


Round or rectangular top that overhangs the base of a small table.

* Portable and light.

* Popular and durable for use in pubs.

Tea table

A small, elegant table for tea or refreshments.

* Small and light.

* Should be handled with care.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Affordable Antique Table

The bigger the selection, the easier it is to find a less expensive piece. Here are some other factors to consider:

* Buy restored pieces - Purchasing an antique table that has been restored is a good way to save money. The exact same piece in an un-restored but good condition might be double the price. Just take care to learn the details about the restoration, and pay accordingly. For example, if only the foot of one leg has been replaced, the cost differential could be minimal. However, if all four legs are newer than the original table, the price of the table should be substantially less.

Styles of Antique Tables

Below are some of the more popular styles of antique tables.

Jacobean (1600-1690)

Medieval-looking tables from the United Kingdom, usually very darkly finished. They feature straight and rigid designs, ornate carvings and are very well constructed.

Early American (1640-1700)

Simple tables made from local woods that are modelled on European furniture styles.

William and Mary (1690-1725)

A style named after William and Mary of England (1689-1694) that also has Dutch and Chinese influences. These tables feature oriental lacquer work and trumpet-turned legs ending in a ball or Spanish foot.

Queen Anne (1700-1755)

Tables in the Queen Anne style are a refinement of the William and Mary style, with moderately proportioned features and more graceful appearance. Cabriole legs end in a pad or drake foot and drawers have bat-wing-shaped pulls.

Colonial (1700-1780)

More conservative than European tables of the same period, Colonial tables combine elements of William and Mary, Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.

Georgian (1714-1760)

A more elaborate and heavier version of the Queen Anne table, Georgian tables feature elaborately carved cabriole legs, ornate carvings and gilding.

Chippendale (1750-1790)

Chippendale tables fall into three categories: French influence, Chinese influence and Gothic influence. American Chippendale tables are a more elaborate development of the Queen Anne style with cabriole legs and ball-and-claw feet.

Hepplewhite (1765-1800)

Hepplewhite tables were produced in the United States, particularly in the Carolinas, Maryland, New England, New York and Virginia. Delicate in appearance, they feature tapered legs and the use of contrasting veneers and inlay.

Federal (1780-1820)

Federal tables combine the characteristics of the Hepplewhite and Sheraton styles. Graceful lines, light construction, elaborate inlay and contrasting veneers are hallmarks of these tables.

Sheraton (1780-1820)

A neoclassical table style highlighted by delicate lines and light construction. Other neoclassical motifs and ornamentation are also present.

Shaker (1820-1860)

A simple table style produced by the religious 'Quaker' group. Straight, tapered legs, woven square chair seats and mushroom shaped wooden knobs characterize it.

Victorian (1840-1910)

Victorian style tables draw their influence from gothic forms. They are heavy and massive with elaborate carving and a dark finish. Victorian tables were also the first to be mass-produced.

Art Nouveau (1890-1910)

Art Nouveau tables have naturalistic style with curved lines and intricate patterns.

How to Care for Antique Tables

Any antique table, regardless of price or value, requires careful attention. Direct sunlight can easily damage the wood, as can moisture. Clean the wood with warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent. If more cleaning is required, consult an expert. In some cases, it would also be advisable to consult professional restorers.

Accessories and Add-ons for Antique Tables

It is important to have the right cleaning products for an antique table. Here is a brief list.

* Refinisher

* Antique furniture wax

* Mild soaps or cleansers

* Soft cloths or brushes

Finding an Affordable Antique Table on eBay

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

Searching for an Affordable Antique Table on eBay

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


With this guide, you can find an affordable antique table that will suit your home decor. Some research will go a long way in helping to decide on which piece to buy. Once you have collected the information you need, you can buy an affordable antique table safely and securely on eBay.

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