History of Dining Tables
It has been said that modern design owes much of its glory to the items that preceded it, and furniture is no exception. The history of dining tables stems all the way back to the early Greeks and Romans, who were notable for their love of banqueting and feasts. With this in mind, it is not surprising that these two world empires provided the cataylst for the creative process of explorative furniture design.
The word 'table' is derived from a Latin word: 'tabula'. However, the earliest tables were used by the Ancient Egyptians, albeit in a purely practical sense. The birth of recreational tables coincided with the emergence of European empires, who placed a great emphasis on lavish living and opulent dining. Early tables were often crafted from marble and our Genoa Table elegantly evokes the influence of these, remaining timeless all the while.
Traditional dining tables were composed of a range of dining table materials, but principally the aforementioned marble, wood, or metal. Usually supported by four feet and linked together via x-shaped stretchers, they projected a mix of authority and efficiency. Initially, the shapes of the tables were rectangular and very big. This enabled the head of the household to occupy the end of the table, giving him the privileged position of viewing all of his guests at once. Back then, families were not only larger, but immediate and extended family invariably lived together in one group. As a result, the table was the centrepiece of a dining hall and meal times were as much about socialising as they were about great food and drink.
As time passed, the Romans introduced the circular table to Italy, inspiring an invention that continues to endure as a popular alternative to rectangular dining tables. Spherical round dining tables allow each seated member of the party to have equal views of other diners, without the need for an obligatory host or head of the table. This produces a much more relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere that is more in keeping with contemporary dining habits. Our round tables represent a stylish throwback to the middle ages, when revelry was the order of the day.
When looking at the designs of dining tables in our own age, it cannot be denied that we have come a long way from the Greek and Roman days. Indeed, nowadays we are bombarded with an exciting array of varied styles, sizes and materials to adorn our dining rooms and cater to a range of individual tastes, needs and requirements.
Even now, dining room tables continue to evolve, yet one thing remains consistent. Over the years these sensational structures have retained all of their central allure, and will surely continue to do so. Stylishly re-enforcing family values while emphasising the importance of communication and companionship, they beautifully encapsulate the essence of good living, and that is one thing that will never change.