The antique coffee table. Everybody wants one and everybody had one! I thought I’d start off with that little riddle. Folks like antique coffee tables and antique furniture for that matter because it is unique, it tells a story and has a history. Much like we become more valuable (or we should, if our culture wasn’t dysfunctional) as we age, so do coffee tables and other pieces of furniture that carry the history and the stories of those they lived with before. So we want an antique coffee table for many of those same reasons and perhaps more. Perhaps there is an antique coffee table you’ve seen that has the most wonderful design that you just can’t find anymore.
We all had an antique coffee table in the sense that most of us as we enter into our middle to later adulthood have had access to antique furniture from yard sales, estates from those closest to us who have now moved on – grandparents especially. And even our own pieces of furniture might now be looking like antiques as they gather age and wear and tear. For example, my antique oak coffee table though not classically antique I’ve had for many years and to me it feels like an antique coffee table because of the stories and tales I know its overheard and been privy to as my life has evolved.
Definition of an antique coffee table
So those might be some of the reasons we search out antique coffee tables and antique furniture. And although I have seen some definitions of what antique means, there is hardly a definitive answer to what is an antique coffee table. Most antique furniture it would seem becomes antique at around 50 years to 75 years old or older, though of course there are exceptions to this rule if the antique glass coffee table for example is especially rare, made by an exceptional but briefly lived designer and other such variables that can dictate an earlier age to the value of antique coffee table. So with this understanding, my oak coffee table or my friend’s pine coffee table would hardly be considered antique.
We’ve spoken about some types of antique coffee table as being made from wood. And a mahogany coffee table that is obviously turn of the 20th century would obviously be an antique coffee table. Oak coffee tables that are older than mine would examples of antiques too. Of course an original trunk coffee table, or a trunk case that has been turned into a coffee table would be an example of an antique coffee table because you know it is older than 50 or so years. So the wooden coffee table is often classically antique. Wooden coffee tables in fact are probably the most sought after antique coffee tables that you can find. But there are other options if you’re looking for an antique coffee table.
Antique coffee table varieties
A marble coffee table whether as an oval coffee table or square coffee table can be considered antique if it falls within that specific age bracket or older that we spoke of earlier. Marble as you are probably well aware has been a popular element in human art since at least the renaissance and before. In fact you can find antique marble coffee tables that are hundreds of years old though many sadly, are not in the greatest shape.
And this is one reason why antiques carry a premium price tag. Because not many of their siblings survive the abuse of the decades. For example, I saw a small round mahogany coffee table the other day for almost $2,000. The same solid wood coffee table in oak or pine for example would only fetch a few hundred to several hundred dollars. Now part of that is due to the rarity of the wood – mahogany – there is of course the premium placed on the age of the table too.
The antique glass coffee table is another antique coffee table that can be found, often called a mirror coffee table, which is of course made of glass, the mirror affect is often the result of age but could have been part of the natural process all those decades ago. This is what makes looking for an antique coffee table such fun and an adventure. The delight at finding something unique and special that is not available today. You might even find an antique coffee table that by today’s standards could be considered a contemporary coffee table. This is how design so often circles back to its roots. Of course, a glass top coffee table that is antique would naturally be more rare than a wooden antique coffee table if only because as we all now, glass has a tendency to break!
I hope this short post on the antique coffee table was helpful. It wasn’t meant to be exhaustive, but to give you a feel for antique furniture and coffee tables in particular. If you are looking for an antique style coffee table there are many modern coffee tables that have the antique patina or facade that will work for you and give you that look for huge savings over a genuine antique coffee table. But if you are looking for the real thing, take your time and be prepared to sort through a lot of chaff to get to the wheat and expect to pay a premium for that antique coffee table of your dreams.