The History of the Dining Table: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

The History of the Dining Table: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

The dining table is a central piece of furniture in any home. It's where we gather to eat, socialise, and spend time with our loved ones. But where did the dining table come from and how has it evolved over time? Let's take a look at the history of the dining table from ancient times to modern day.

Ancient Egypt

The earliest known dining tables were found in ancient Egypt, where dining tables were used by the wealthy to display their wealth and status. They were often made from wood or metal and were intricately carved and decorated. The tables were rectangular or oval in shape and were supported by four legs. They were often adorned with carvings of hieroglyphics and other decorative motifs.

The tables were used to serve food and drinks and were also used for socialising and entertainment. The wealthy would often host banquets and feasts on their dining tables and would invite their friends and guests to dine with them.

The tables were also used for religious ceremonies and rituals. Overall, ancient Egyptian dining tables were a symbol of wealth and status and were an important part of daily life for the wealthy.

Dining table in ancient Egypt

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, dining tables, or "triclinium," were also used for reclining meals, although these were more elaborate and featured three couches arranged in a U-shape. The centre of the U was left open for a table, which was often adorned with sculptures and other decorative elements.

Ancient roman dining

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, dining tables were often round and low to the ground and were accompanied by cushions or mats for seating. They often had 3 legs to create a better sense of balance. 

Ancient greek dining table

European Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages in Europe, dining tables evolved to accommodate the change in dining habits. As people began sitting on chairs rather than reclining on couches, tables became larger and more rectangular to accommodate the new seating arrangements. They were also often made of oak, a strong and durable wood that could withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

dining table in the middle ages in Europe

16th Century England

In the 16th century, dining tables began to take on more ornate and decorative forms. The Tudor period in England saw the rise of the "great table," a large, elaborately carved and gilded piece of furniture that was used for formal dinners and banquets.

16th Century dining table

17th and 18th Century

In the 17th and 18th centuries, dining tables became more practical and functional. The rise of the middle class led to the creation of smaller, more affordable tables that could be used in the home. These tables were often made of oak or mahogany and were designed to be easily expandable to accommodate larger groups.

18th century dining table

19th and 20th Century

In the 19th and 20th centuries, dining tables continued to evolve with the changing times. The Industrial Revolution brought about new materials and manufacturing techniques, leading to the creation of dining tables made of metal, glass, and other modern materials. The modern dining table also saw the introduction of new features, such as built-in leaf extensions and drop-leaf designs that made it easier to adjust the size of the table to fit different spaces and needs.

20th century dining table

Modern dining tables

Today, the dining table comes in a wide variety of styles, materials, and sizes to suit any home and any need. From traditional wood tables to sleek and modern round dining tables, there is a dining table to fit every taste and budget.

Modern dining table

So there you have it, a brief history of the dining table. From ancient times to modern day, the dining table has come a long way and has played a central role in homes around the world. Whether it's used for everyday meals or special occasions, the dining table is a cornerstone of any home. Shop our range of beautiful dining tables and find dining chairs to match!

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