A second hand drop leaf table is a antique table with two sides that are hinged to drop down when not in use. This aids in storage and makes the unit easier to move. When searching for a drop leaf table, it is important to find one that fits this style and is in good enough condition to be useful or at least restored to a useful condition. Most antique tables that fit into this category will be made from wood, and the wood is very often a hardwood that is durable and attractive. Look for a drop leaf table made from such woods.
Some of the oldest second hand drop leaf table designs featured four legs that were fashioned by turning, or rotating the piece of wood while a cutting tool was used for the design. The table’s legs were often connected with horizontal stabilizing pieces, and the leaves that folded out were supported by additional legs that swung outward when in use. This was known as a gate leg table. Such tables were often made of walnut, though some others were commonly made from maple. These tables will more than likely be quite expensive, as some can date back to the 17th century. When not in use, it would fold and lean against a wall.
After that design, a new design became common in America. Butterfly tables did not feature full fold-out legs as gate leg tables did, but instead featured a wing-like fold-out that supported the leaf. This design was not as stable as gate leg tables, but it was far more aesthetically pleasing, and the table itself was generally more compact. They were common around the early 18th century. When choosing a drop leaf antique table, be sure to consider whether the design matches the time period in which the table was commonly used.
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