Although the dining room as a common room is a fairly new concept, the dining room table is not. Only 100 years ago, most homes did not come with a dining room. Dining rooms were reserved for the wealthy that had enough space to create an actual dining room. Smaller homes of the masses were equipped with a nook, which held a smaller version of the dining room table.
The antique dining room table is the most sought after antique furniture pieces in the United States. Most people desire them as an age old status symbol just as they were 100 years before, only many people do not even realize that this is their aim. The oddity of this subconscious mentality is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on an antique dining room table. In fact, the majority of antique dining room tables are less expensive than a new oak dining room table. This is because it is tremendously rare to find an antique dining room table in mint condition. By now, they have lived a life, and they have a few scars and dings to prove it.
In the United Kingdom, an antique can not truly be an antique unless it is at least 100 years old. In other countries, an antique must have survived in useable condition for at least 50 years. Some antique enthusiasts consider antiques to only be qualified as anything over 100 years old regardless of the country. However, antiques can be specific items from an era. Anything less than 50 years old is most definitely a collectible. Anything over 400 years old is an antiquity. Thus, most antique dealers have a common mixture of actual antiques as well as collectibles. Few carry actual antiquities. Thus, a dining room table which is in good condition but only 45 years old does not carry the same selling price as a new dining room table, nor the same selling price of a dining room table that is 98 years old with a few scratches. Thus, most people with an antique dining room table in all reality have a collectible dining room table in very good condition. Most antiques require at least a little bit of elbow grease to bring them into mint condition.
Antique dining room tables are typically quite large, as they came from the larger, wealthier houses that had dining rooms. The smaller homes that had nook and small tables did not see much value in their tables and thus often burned them for fuel or passed them down with their meager estates until they simply fell apart. Large dining room tables were crafted especially for the wealthy family, at their request, and at their design and direction. They were considered statements of wealth as having a large dining room table also meant that the family was wealthy enough to entertain. 100 to 200 years ago, this was a very large ordeal. Entertaining numerous people or even crowds was absolutely left to the wealthy, as the extra food was expensive.
Antique dining room tables were not known to have the intrinsic value they have today, and they certainly were not saved on the notion of being coveted during such a technologically advanced time. They were saved for their meaning, their heritage, and the status of wealth they were known for.
The purchase of an antique dining room table is a game of cat and mouse. The antique hunter must be one the prowl for the right antique dealer, the one capable of retailing a genuine antique dining room table. The dealer must be reputable, not someone who is willing to prey on the innocence of antique novice and pawn off a 45 year old table as a genuine antique. The table itself must be right as well. Just because it is an antique doesn’t automatically make it beautiful. There were plenty of wealthy people 100 years ago with pretty poor design tastes. It has taken people the better part of 20 years to finally discover their perfect antique dining room table. With the use of the internet, the search can now be less hands on, although most people still want to touch and feel an antique dining room table before buying. The hunt for the right antique dining room table can be never ending, however for those who are passionate about it, the hunt is well worth the prize.