Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary
Tea tables are finished on all sides and may be used in the center of rooms for serving this fashionable beverage.
Tea drinking as a social activity grew in popularity throughout the eighteenth century, and by the 1740s the tea table was a mandatory element in any well-furnished hall or parlor.
Until about 1720, rectangular tea tables were the most common sort, but after that date round tables with tilting tops became more usual. The hinged top was designed to allow the table to be stored in a corner when it was not in use.
Queen Anne and Chippendale tea tables were popular, some with galleried edges to prevent china from slipping off.
After the Revolution, tea tables all but disappeared as tea prices declined and serving tea lost its glamour.