Rabu, 20 Oktober 2010

Billiard table

A billiard table or billiards table (or more specifically a pool table or snooker table) is a bounded table on which billiards-type games (cue sports) are played. In the modern era, all billiards tables, regardless of whether for carom billiards, pool or snooker, provide a flat surface usually made of quarried slate, that is covered with cloth and surrounded by vulcanized rubber cushions, with the whole elevated above the floor.[1] An obsolete term is billiard board, used in the 16th and 17th centuries.[2][3]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Parts and equipment
  • 3 Carom billiards tables
  • 4 Pool (pocket billiards) tables
  • 5 British Standard Pool (Billiards) Tables
  • 6 Snooker tables
  • 7 Other billiard tables
  • 8 References
  • History

    The earliest known billiard table, in the royal court of Louis XI of France (1461–1483),[2] was simply lawn brought indoors and placed on a large, everyday table. Rail-bounded, cloth-covered tables specifically for billiards, with wooden beds rail cushions (made of layered felt,[2] or stuffed with straw[citation needed]), soon evolved as the game's popularity spread among French and later other European aristocrats.
    The increasing demand for tables and other equipment in Europe was initially met by furniture makers of the era, some of whom began to specialize in billiard tables. By 1840, the table beds were made of slate, as they are to this day in quality tables. English table maker John Thurston was instrumental in this change, having tested the surface since 1826. After experimenting with hair, shredded fabric and feathers as stuffing for the cushions, he also introduced rubber cushions in 1835. This was not initially a success, as the elasticity of rubber varies with ambient temperature. After attempting to market cushion warmers with only partial success, Thurston was saved by the 1843 discovery of vulcanization by English engineer Thomas Hancock. Thurston used vulcanized rubber in his later cushions, and it is still used today by many manufacturers (some use synthetic materials). Thurston's first set was presented to Queen Victoria.[2]
    In the United States, manufacture of billiard tables has been ongoing since at least the mid-19th century. The forerunner of the Brunswick Company began commercial manufacture in 1845.[4] In San Francisco, California, several manufacturers were active by the late 19th century.[clarification needed]

    Parts and equipment


    Cushions (also sometimes called "rail cushions", "cushion rubber", or rarely "bumpers") are located on the inner sides of a table's wooden rails. There are several different materials and design philosophies associated with cushion rubber. The cushions are made from an elastic material such as vulcanized (gum or synthetic) rubber. The chiefly American jargon "rails" more properly applies to the wooded outer segments of the table to which the cushions are affixed.
    The purpose of the cushion rubber is to cause the billiard balls to rebound off the rubber while minimizing the loss of kinetic energy.
    When installed properly the distance from the nose of the cushion to the covered slate surface is 1 7/16" [1] while using a regulation 2 1/4" ball set.
    The profile of the rail cushion, which is the cushion's angle in relation to the bed of the table, varies between table types. The standard on American pool tables is the K-66 profile, which as defined by the BCA has a base of 1-3/16 inches and a nose height of 1 inch [2]. This[clarification needed] causes the balls' rebound to be somewhat predictable during game play.
    On a carom table, the K-55 profile is used (with a somewhat sharper angle than pool cushions). K-55 cushions have cloth, usually canvas, vulcanized into the top of the rubber to adjust rebound accuracy and speed [3].
    Finally, snooker tables may use an L-shaped profile, such as the L77 profile [4]. This is mostly[clarification needed] because snooker uses balls of a smaller diameter and smaller pocket entrances than pool does


    Billiard cloth (sometimes erroneously called felt) is a specific type of cloth that covers the top of the table's "playing area". Both the rails and slate beds are covered with 21–24 ounce billiard cloth (although some less expensive 19oz cloths are available) which is most often green in color (representing the grass of the original lawn games that billiards evolved from), and consists of either a woven wool or wool/nylon blend called baize.
    Most bar tables, which get lots of play, use the slower, thicker blended cloth because it can better withstand heavy usage. This type of cloth is called a woolen cloth. By contrast, high quality pool cloth is usually made of a napless weave such as worsted wool, which gives a much faster roll to the balls. This "speed" of the cloth affects the amounts of swerve and deflection of the balls, among other aspects of game finesse. Snooker cloth traditionally has a directional nap, upon which the balls behave differently when rolling against vs. toward the direction of the nap.

    Carom billiards tables


    Regulation carom billiards tables are rectangles. The playing surface (measured between the noses of the cushions) is 2.84 meters by 1.42 meters with a 5 millimeter allowance.[5] The height of the table, measured from the playing surface to the ground is between 75 and 80 centimeters.

    [edit] The bed

    The slate bed of a carom billiard table must have a minimum thickness of 45 millimeters and is often heated to about 5 degrees C (9 deg F) above room temperature, which helps to keep moisture out of the cloth to aid the balls rolling and rebounding in a consistent manner, and generally makes a table play faster. A heated table is required under international carom rules and is an especially important requirement for the games of three-cushion billiards and artistic billiards.[1]
    Heating table beds is an old practice. Queen Victoria of England (1819–1901) had a billard table that was heated using zinc tubes, although the aim at that time was chiefly to keep the then-used ivory balls from warping. The first use of electric heating was for an 18.2 balkline tournament held in December 1927 between Welker Cochran and Jacob Schaefer, Jr. The New York Times announced it with fanfare: "For the first time in the history of world's championship balkline billiards a heated table will be used..."[1][6]

    Pool (pocket billiards) tables

    A cue ball and the 1 ball close to a pocket
    Pool tables, sometimes called pocket billiards tables, are specific to the various pool games such as eight-ball, nine-ball, straight pool and one-pocket. As the name implies, pocket billiards tables have pockets; normally six of them – one at each corner of the table (corner pockets) and one at the midpoint of each of the longer sides (side pockets).


    Pocket billiard tables come in different sizes, typically referred to as 9-foot, 8-foot, or 7-foot tables. In all cases, the playing surface (the dimensions between the noses of the cushions) is rectangular with a 2:1 ratio. For a 9-foot table, the playing surface measures 100 inches by 50 inches (254 cm × 127 cm) with a 1/8 inches (3.175 mm) margin of error for either dimension. For an 8-foot table, the playing surface measures 92 inches by 46 inches (233.68 cm × 116.84 cm), again with a 1/8th of an inch margin of error for either dimension. These are the only two sizes authorized for tournament play by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).[7] The playing surface for a 7-foot table is 76 inches by 38 inches (193.04 cm × 96.52 cm).


    Pockets, usually rimmed with leather or plastic, may have leather bags to catch the balls, common in home billiard rooms and pool halls, or (most commonly in the coin-operated tables found regularly in bars/pubs) may lead to ball-return troughs inside the table, which channel the balls into a collection chamber on one side of the table (or, in non-coin-op models, on the racking end of the table).

    The bed

    For World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) tournament play, the bed of the pocket billiard table must be made of slate no less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick. The flatness of the table must be no greater than +0.020 inches (0.508 mm) lengthwise and +0.010 inches (0.254 mm) across the width.[7]
    Tables not for tournament play may often use a slate bed as well, but the slate may be less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick. Other materials used for pocket billiard table beds include wood (typically medium-density fiberboard) and synthetic materials under various trade names.


    Sights, or diamonds, are put on the rails to aid in the aiming of bank or kick shots. There are six along each long rail (with the side pocket interfering with where the seventh one would go) and three along each short rail. These divide the playing surface into equal squares.
    Spots are often used to mark the head and foot spots. Other markings may be a line drawn across the head string and the outline of the rack behind the foot spot where the balls are racked. In addition, in artistic pool, lines are drawn between opposite sights putting a grid on the playing surface

    British Standard Pool (Billiards) Tables

    British Pool Table
    A British standard pool table, showing a cue ball and a red/yellow ball close to the (smaller) pocket.
    In the UK as well as a number of other countries, the standard pool table configuration is a little different from the American Pool table


    British pool tables come in 6 ft x 3 ft or 7 ft x 4 ft varieties,[8] with 7 ft being the regulation size for pub pool league play


    British pool is played with 2" balls as opposed to the 2 1/4" American balls, with British balls generally being colour coded, such as Red/Yellow, Blue/Yellow as opposed to the spots and stripes of American Pool. This difference in ball size requires that the pockets on a British pool table be smaller (the ball size multiplied by 1.6 gives the opening pocket diameter). The pockets, especially the middle pockets, are much more rounded than those of an American pool table, similar to those of a snooker table. This affects the accuracy needed for middle-pocket shots and shots down the cushion into a corner pocket.


    British pool tables are generally slate-bed, and certainly for tournament play this must be the case. However cheaper, more portable, home models are available with MDF bed.

    Snooker tables

    Snooker table, drawn to scale
    A billiard table designed for the game snooker is called a snooker table


    A standard tournament snooker table measures 11 ft 8.5 in by 5 ft 10 in (3669 mm by 1778 mm), though commonly referred to as 12 ft by 6 ft. Smaller 9 ft 5 in by 5 ft 10 in (2895.6 mm by 1554.48 mm) tables (commonly referred to as 10 ft by 5 ft.) are also sometimes used. The height from the floor to the top of the cushion is between 2 ft 9.5 in and 2 ft 10.5 in (851 mm and 876 mm).


    A snooker table has six pockets, one at each corner and one at the center of each of the longest side cushions. The pockets are around 70 mm (3.5 in)[clarification needed], though high-class tournaments may use slightly smaller pockets to increase difficulty. The amount of "undercut" in the pocket determines how easily a ball is accepted. Compared to a billiards table, snooker table pockets are rounded, while pool tables have sharp corners. This affects how accurate shots need to be to get in a pocket and on rail shots from one end of the table to the other.


    The cushions (sometimes known as rails, though that term properly applies to the wood sections to which the cushions are attached) are usually made of vulcanized rubber.

    The bed

    The playing surface or "bed" of a good quality snooker table has a base of slate and is covered with green baize or worsted wool. The thickness of the cloth determines the speed, accuracy and responsiveness of the table to spin, thicker cloths being more hard-wearing but slower and less responsive. The nap of the cloth can affect the run of the balls, especially on slower shots. A snooker table traditionally has the nap running from baulk to the top end and is brushed and ironed in this direction.


    The baulk area is marked by a line drawn at 29 in (740 mm) from the bottom cushion. A semicircle with a radius of 11.5 in (290 mm) centred on this line within baulk forms the "D" in which the cue ball must be placed when breaking or after the cue ball has been potted or shot off the table. The position of four of the colours are marked along the long string (lengthwise centre) of the table, perpendicular to the baulk line: the spot, or black spot, 12.75 in (324 mm) from the top cushion; the centre spot, or blue spot, located at the mid-point between the bottom and top cushions; The pyramid spot, or pink spot, located midway between the centre spot and the top cushion; and the brown spot, located at the mid-point of the baulk line. The exact placing of these markings will be different on smaller tables.

    Other billiard tables

    Other types of billiard tables are used for specific games, such as Russian pyramid, Asian four ball, and bumper pool. Also, British pool tables differ significantly from pool tables found in the USA. In addition, there are novelty billiard tables, typically for pocket billiards, that come in various shapes including zig-zag, circular, and hexagonal.




Folding table

Folding table

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A folding table is a table with legs that fold up against the table top. This is intended to make storage more convenient and to make the table more portable.




Folding tables are produced in many sizes, configurations, and designs. They can be made from plastic, metal, wood, and other materials.

Folding mechanism

Folding tables fold by having legs that bend on a hinge located at the connection point between the table top and the leg. The leg is designed to fold and fit securely against the underside of the table top, while remaining attached.


Folding tables are used in homes, schools, churches, and other buildings that have rooms intended for various functions. Folding tables can be used for sit-down activities, and then easily removed and stored out of the way when open space is needed.


Card table

A card table is usually a square table with legs that fold up individually, with one leg lining each edge. Card tables are traditionally used for playing card games, Board games, and other tabletop games.

General use table

Rectangle, square, and round folding tables are designed for general home and office uses.

Banquet table

Banquet tables are traditionally used by restaurants and caterers for setting up temporary buffets. They are also popular among retailers and vendors at trade shows for displaying products, and for use as temporary desks.

Personal table

A personal table, also called a TV tray, is a small table designed to be used by only one person at a time. They are popular for dining while watching television, or for working on small projects. Students often use personal tables for doing homework.[1]

Folding picnic table

A folding picnic table has built-in seats that fold up along with the legs. They are used commonly in school cafeterias and in the backyards of homes

roning board

An ironing board is a small, portable, folding table with a heat resistant top that is used for ironing clothes.


A 16th century English folding table
The history of the folding table may date back as far as ancient Egypt. By the Colonial and Victorian eras, the tables were common.[2]
During the 20th century, folding tables became an inexpensive item manufactured and sold in large quantities.
In the 1940s, Durham Manufacturing Company was marketing a basic model,[3] while in the 1950s and 1960s, Falco[4] and Samsonite[5] tables were popular.
The 1980s showed the emergence of Chinese government-owned COSCO.[6]
In the 1990s and 2000s, American manufacturer Lifetime Products became the world's largest producer of folding tables


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Three analogia, covered with gold cloth.
(Saint Nicholas monastery, Gomel, Belarus).
An Analogion (Greek: Άναλόγιον) is a lectern or slanted stand on which icons, the Gospel Book or are placed for veneration by the faithful in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. It may also be used as a lectern to read from liturgical books during the divine services.[1]


  • 1 Design
  • 2 Use
  • 3 Notes
  • 4 References
  • 5 See also
  • 6 External links
  • Design

    Analogion, vested in white, at Valamo Monastery, Finland.
    The analogion is normally slanted slightly, to make it easer for the one standing in front of it to see the icon or book laid on it. The analogion may have four legs or only one in the center. It is often overed with rich cloth (antipendia) which either partially or completely covers the analogion on all sides. Some analogia are made made so they fold for easy portability, some are intricately carved of fine wood, and some are simple framework intended to be completely covered with cloth. They are normally light enough to be moved without too much difficulty.
    Kliros with analogia for liturgical books.
    There is also a type of analogion which is used in the kliros by the chanters. This often has two or three sides and turns to allow the singers to more easily use the numerous liturgical texts required during the services.
    There is an older Greek design for this type of analogion that is octagonal with a flat top instead of slanted. This style is still found in use on Mount Athos and at other ancient monasteries throughout the world. Sometimes this type of analogion is intricately inlaid with mother of pearl or other semi-precious materials.
    A similar piece of furniture is called the tetrapodion which is a table which can be set in the center of the church, usually covered with a cloth, and upon which objects are placed to be blessed.


    Russian Orthodox Church in Seldovia, Alaska.
    Analogia are used for the veneration of icons, usually with a candlestand beside or behind it, or an oil lamp burning above it. The candlestand may hold one candle and be used to shine light on the icon, or it may have places for the faithful to offer candles as they venerate the icon.
    On higher-ranking feasts of the church year, when the chanting of the Polyeleos is called for, an analogion is placed in the center of the temple (i.e., the nave of the church) with candles, and the icon of the feast being celebrated is placed thereon. At the highpoint of the service, all of the lights in the church are lit and the clergy and people gather around the icon on the analogion in the center of the temple for the chanting of fetive hymns and the reading of the Matins Gospel lesson.
    During the Divine Liturgy an analogion is placed in front of the Holy Doors for the reading of the Gospel and altar servers will stand to either side with processional candles. If a deacon is reading the Gospel, the analogion will be set so that he faces East (towards the Altar) as he reads; if a priest is reading, the analogion will be set so that he faces West (towards the people).
    When a priest or bishop hears Confession, he will do so standing beside an analogion on which has been placed a Gospel Book and a Cross. The penitent will venerate the Gospel and Cross and then kneel before the analogion, holding his right hand in the manner of making the Sign of the Cross and touching the foot of the Cross while making his confession.





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A desk is a furniture form and a class of table often used in a work or office setting for reading or writing on or using a computer. Desks often have one or more drawers to store office supplies and papers. Unlike a regular table, usually only one side of a desk is suitable to sit on (though there are some exceptions, such as a partners desk). Not all desks have the form of a table. For instance, an Armoire desk is a desk built within a large wardrobe-like cabinet, and a portable desk is light enough to be placed on a person's lap. Since many people lean on a desk while using it, a desk must be sturdy.


  • 1 Early desks
  • 2 Industrial era
  • 3 Steel desks
  • 4 Student desks
  • 5 Influence of computers
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

    Early desks

    Desk-style furniture appears not to have been used in classical antiquity or in other ancient centers of civilization in the Middle East or Far East, but there is no specific proof. Medieval illustrations show the first pieces of furniture which seem to have been designed and constructed for reading and writing.
    Before the invention of the movable type printing press in the 15th century, any reader was potentially a writer or publisher or both, since any book or other document had to be copied by hand. The desks were designed with slots and hooks for bookmarks and for writing implements. Since manuscript volumes were sometimes large, and heavy, desks of the period usually had massive structures.
    Desks of the Renaissance and later eras had relatively slimmer structures, and more and more drawers as woodworking became more precise and cabinet-making became a distinct trade. It is often possible to find out if a table or other piece of furniture of those times was designed to be used as a desk by looking for a drawer with three small separations (one each for the ink pot, the blotter and the powder tray) and room for the pens.
    The desk forms we are familiar with in this beginning of the millennium were born mostly in the 17th and 18th centuries. The ergonomic desk of the last decades is the newest addition to a long list of desk forms, but in a way it is only a refinement of the mechanically complex drawing table or drafting table of the end of the 18th century.

    Industrial era

    An untidy desk.
    Refinements to those first desk forms were considerable through the 19th century, as steam-driven machinery made cheap wood-based paper possible in the last periods of the first phase of the industrial revolution. This produced a boom in the number of, or some might say the birth of, the white-collar worker. As these office workers grew in number, desks were mass-produced for them in large quantities, using newer, steam-driven woodworking machinery. This was the first sharp division in desk manufacturing. From then on, limited quantities of finely crafted desks have been constructed by master cabinetmakers for the homes and offices of the rich while the vast majority of desks were assembled rapidly by unskilled labor, from components turned out in batches by machine tools. Thus, age alone does not guarantee that an antique desk is a masterpiece, since this shift took place more than a hundred years ago.
    More paper and more correspondence drove the need for more complex desks and more specialized desks, such as the rolltop desk which was a mass produced, slatted variant of the classical cylinder desk. It provided a relatively fast and cheap way to lock up the ever increasing flow of paper without having to file everything by the end of the day. Paper documents started leaving the desk as a "home," with the general introduction of filing cabinets. Correspondence and other documents were now too numerous to get enough attention to be rolled up or folded again, then summarized and tagged before being pigeonholed in a small compartment over or under the work surface of the desk. The famous Wooton desk and others were the last manifestations of the "pigeonhole" style. The newer desks could be transformed into many different shapes and angles and were ideal for artists.

    Steel desks

    A small boom in office work and desk production occurred at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th with the introduction of smaller and less expensive electrical presses and efficient carbon papers coupled with the general acceptance of the typewriter. Steel desks were introduced to take heavier loads of paper and withstand the pounding meted out on the typewriters. The L-shaped desk became popular, with the "leg" being used as an annex for the typewriter.
    Another big boom occurred after the Second World War with the spread of photocopying. Paperwork drove even higher the number of desk workers, whose work surface diminished in size as office rents rose, and the paper itself was moved more and more directly to filing cabinets or sent to records management centers, or transformed into microfilm, or both. Modular desks seating several co-workers close by became common. Even executive or management desks became mass-produced, built of cheap plywood or fiberboard covered with wood finish, as the number of people managing the white collar workers became even greater.

    Student desks

    A student desk.
    A student desk can be any desk form meant for use by a student. Usually the term designates a small pedestal desk or writing table constructed for use by a teenager or a pre-teen in their room at home. It often is a pedestal desk, with only one of the two pedestals and about two thirds of the desk surface. Such desks are sometimes called left-pedestal desks and right-pedestal desks, depending on the position of the single pedestal. These desks are not as tall as normal adult desks. In some cases, the desk is connected from the seat to the table.
    The desks are usually mass-produced in steel or wood and sold on the consumer market. There is a wide variety of plans available for woodworking enthusiasts. There are many novel forms of student desks made to maximize the relatively restricted area available in a child's room. One of the most common is the bunk-bed desk, also called the loft bed.

    Influence of computers

    Until the late 1980s, desks remained a place for paperwork and business negotiation, though at the end of this decade, the personal computer was taking hold in large and medium sized businesses. New office suites included a "knee hole" credenza which was a place for a terminal or personal computer and keyboard tray. Soon new office designs also included "U-shape" suites which added a bridge worksurface between the back credenza and front desk. During the North American recession of the early 1990s, many manager and executive workers had to do word processing and other functions previously completed by typing pools and secretaries. This necessitated a more central placement of the computer on these "U-shape" suite desk systems.
    A desk in an office.
    With computers abounding, "computer paper" became an office staple. The beginning of this paper boom gave birth to the dream of the "paperless office", in which all information would appear on computer monitors. However, the ease of printing personal documents and the lack of comfort with reading text on computer monitors led to a great deal of document printing. The need for paperwork space vied with the rising desk space taken up by computer monitors, CPUs, printers, scanners, and other peripherals. As well, the need for more space led some desk companies to attach some items to the modesty panel at the back of the desk, such as multi-outlets and cabling.
    Through the "tech boom" of the 1990s, office worker numbers skyrocketed along with the cost of office space rent. The cubicle desk became widely accepted in North America as an economical way of putting more desk workers in the same space without actually shrinking the size of their working surfaces. The cubicle walls have become new place for workers to affix papers and other items once left on the horizontal desktop surface. Even computer monitor frames themselves are used to attach reminder notes and business cards.
    Early in the 2000s, private office workers found that their side and back computer-placing furniture made it hard to show the contents of a computer screen to guests or co-workers. Manufacturers have responded to this issue by creating "Forward Facing" desks where computer monitors are placed on the front of the "U-shape" workstation. This forward computer monitor placement promotes a clearer sight-line to greet colleagues, increases computer screen privacy and allows for common viewing of information displayed on a screen.

    List of desk forms and types

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    Any list of desk forms and types encountered in the modern office or home, and in antique stores, is incomplete and contradictory given the variations in the naming of desks, as a simple lookup in two or three of the reference books below will demonstrate. Each article discusses the name variations and the most general article of all, desk, makes comparisons between several forms and places them in historical context.
    The division between "desk form" and "desk type" presented here is arbitrary, since there is no consensus as how to differentiate function, form, type and style in these matters, as the books in the reference section below show. A form here is something rather specific, while a type can be applied to any given form or all of them.

    Armoire desk

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    An armoire desk is a writing-table built within a large cabinet, usually 1.5-2.0 m (5-7 feet) high. The cabinet is closed by two to four full-height doors, to keep out dust or to give a tidy appearance to a room by hiding the cluttered working surface of the desk. This form of desk is usually placed against a wall, like its antique uncle, the secretary desk.
    Armoire deskside.png
    Small or home offices (also known as "SOHO") are the usual habitat of the modern armoire desk. Corporations and government bureaucracies typically shun the armoire desk, preferring pedestal desks and cubicles in most instances. The closest ancestor, in form, of the armoire desk, is the Moore desk.
    The armoire desk is often called a "computer armoire desk", or a computer desk, since it is used in our times to house a computer and its peripherals. Holes are provided to connect the peripherals located in several nooks above or below the main work surface. Often, the work surface or surfaces, such as a writing area or a computer keyboard tray are adjustable to provide an ergonomically sound working environment.
    Some armoire desks have a fixed work surface, which stays in place when the doors are closed, and moves only for ergonomic adjustments. This kind of armoire desk is a direct descendant of the antique rolltop desk which was common in corporate or government offices three or four generations ago, since it provides a fast and efficient way to store or hide current work.
    Other armoire desks have an easily movable, often hinged, work surface which must be cleared of documents and other items in order to close the doors. This kind of armoire desk is a morphological descendant of the famous Wooton desk by its size and by the necessity to constantly store papers to shut it. There is also the alternative of always leaving it open, given the trouble involved. The fall front desk or "secrétaire à abattant", and the slant top desk are also related.
    Unlike all of these earlier relations, however, the modern armoire desk usually does not have a lock. Armoire desks are normally very practical pieces of furniture, despite the use of rich veneers and complex exterior styling in some of the costlier models.
    The sketch of an armoire desk which comes with this article shows a fairly large version with four folding doors, a writing surface which slides out, and a keyboard and mouse pad tray which, in turn, slides out from under the sliding writing surface. In the version shown here it is possible to leave a few thin piles of paper on the writing surface before sliding it back in. In other versions this is not possible. Since most armoire desk are modern forms, the writing surface here is placed at 30 inches (76 cm) from the floor. In antique desk forms it would have been 29 inches (73.5 cm) from the floor.

    Bargueño desk

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    Creating a Bargueño
    The Bargueño (also Vargueño) is a desk first produced in the 15th century that continues to be produced to this day. The only other style of desk which is known to have been continuously produced for so long is the trestle desk, but some authorities exclude this desk from consideration because in early times it also served as a dining table and money lender's counter.
    A bargueño desk is a form of portable desk, resembling the top half of a fall front desk. It is basically a chest or box with one of the side panels, rather than the top panel, serving as a "lid." The side panel folds down to become a horizontal surface for writing and working. The interior of the desk is equipped with small drawers, pigeonholes, etc., for storing papers and supplies. The bargueño has also been used for sewing or as a jewel chest, rather than just for reading or business activities.
    The Bargueño desk originated in Renaissance Spain. The desk was typically made of wood, with sturdy iron handles located on each side, to make transporting it relatively easy. A bargueño could be set down on any solid table, but often had a ready-made support for it: either a "taquillon," a chest of drawers in the same material and style as the bargueño; or a "pie de puente," a small trestle table. As a general rule, the interior of a bargueño is much more richly decorated than the exterior. Thus a bargueño looking very plain from the exterior will have a reasonably rich and well sculpted interior, while a bargueño with impressive exterior decorations will have a truly ornate and extremely rich interior.
    Bargueños first appeared in the 15th century and were popular all through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. After a lull in the 19th century, they became again popular as antiques in the 20th.
    The only other major antique combination of a large portable desk and a frame is the more delicate desk on a frame of the 18th century, which was popular in Colonial America
  • Carrel desk

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    A set of study carrels at Robarts Library at the University of Toronto.
    A carrel desk is a small desk (usually) featuring high sides meant to visually isolate its user from any surroundings either partially or totally. They were a predecessor to the more recent cubicle desk.

    [edit] Description

    Carrel desks are most often found in the libraries of universities or college libraries. Most carrel desks are rectangular in shape. Above the main desktop area there is often a shelf for books. Sometimes the seat is integrated with the carrel desk. Unlike the cubicle desk, carrel desks usually have no file drawers or other facilities. Since the late 1990s, some carrel desk designs provide AC power and Ethernet receptacles for students using laptop computers.
    Like the school desk, the carrel desk is normally produced and sold in large quantities for an institutional market. They are made to stand alone or to be grouped together, with or without common sides or walls.
    The word carrel can also refer to a small isolated "study room" in public libraries and on university campuses, usually the room has a lockable door to which the user is granted the key on request. Carrels usually contain a desk (not necessarily one described as above), shelving and a lamp. Carrels are generally quite popular at universities and are therefore usually quickly occupied. This becomes especially true during mid-term examinations and finals. They have the advantage of power for a laptop (and often internet port) as well as generally being quieter than in the main library building. Carrels can also be used to store valuables such as laptops or heavy books to allow the user to travel to lectures and so on without hindrance.[original research?]

Coffee Table

Coffee table

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A coffee table, also called a cocktail table, is a style of long, low table which is designed to be placed in front of a sofa, to support beverages (hence the name), magazines, feet, books (especially coffee table books), and other small items to be used while sitting, such as coasters. Coffee tables are usually found in the living room or sitting room. They are available in many different variations and prices vary from style to style. Coffee tables may also incorporate cabinets for storage.
The idiom "Gather round the coffee table" is derived from the furniture piece and its proclivity for encouraging conviviality and light conversation.

Origins of the coffee table

In Europe, the first tables specifically designed as and called coffee tables, appear to have been made in Britain during the late Victorian era.
Prior to the late 18th century, the tables used in Europe in conjunction with a settle included occasional tables, end tables, centre tables, and tea tables. By 1780, the high backed settle was being replaced by low back sofas and this led to the development of sofa tables which stood against the back of the sofa and could be used by anyone sitting on the sofa to put down a book or a cup.
According to the listing in Victorian Furniture by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray and also in The Country Life Book of English Furniture by Edward T. Joy, a table designed by E. W. Godwin in 1868 and made in large numbers by William Watt, and Collinson and Lock, is a coffee table. If this is correct it may be one of the earliest made in Europe. Other sources, however, list it only as 'table' so this can be stated categorically. Far from being a low table, this table was about twenty-seven inches high.
Later coffee tables were designed as low tables and this idea may have come from the Ottoman Empire, based on the tables in use in tea gardens. However, as the Anglo-Japanese style was popular in Britain throughout the 1870s and 1880s and low tables were common in Japan, this seems to be an equally likely source for the concept of a long low table.

From the late 19th century onwards, many coffee tables were subsequently made in earlier styles due to the popularity of revivalism, so it is quite possible to find Louis XVI style coffee tables or Georgian style coffee tables, but there seems to be no evidence of a table actually made as a coffee table before this time. Joseph Aronson writing in 1938 defines a coffee table as a, "Low wide table now used before a sofa or couch. There is no historical precedent...," suggesting that coffee tables were a late development in the history of furniture.
Also, use of similar tables has been recorded in the ancient Greek era, following the Roman conquest of North-East Africa.


The first coffee house to open in Britain was opened in Oxford in 1650 by a Jew called Jacob, and was followed in 1652 by the opening of the first coffee house in London by Pasqua Rosee, a native of Turkey and the former servant of a merchant. The popularity of this first establishment was such that it was imitated widely and coffee houses became ubiquitous in the City of London. Known as the Penny Universities, (the entry fee, which included a cup of coffee, was one penny), as it was reckoned that you could learn as much there as going to university, the coffee houses became the gathering places of merchants, scholars, politicians, businessmen and the like.
The coffee houses played an important part in the development of the City of London. For instance, the Edward Lloyd coffee house established in 1688 later became Lloyds of London. Other coffee houses where the stock jobbers congregated to do business after being expelled from the Royal Exchange formed the basis for what was to eventually become the London Stock Exchange.
The popularity of coffee drinking is said to have spread to the rest of Europe from the Ottoman Empire after the Battle of Vienna in 1683.


Picture of coffee table designed by E W 


The idea of a table specifically used for serving hot drinks or putting down one's cup between sips predates the coffee table in Europe by some time. In Britain in 1750 tea drinking was at the height of fashion and there was increasing demand for tea tables. There were pillar and claw tripod tea tables with a round top that were later hinged and were taller than present day coffee tables. There were also examples of tea or china tables that were rectangular. Other forms of tables in use at this time which could be placed near to a sofa were called occasional tables, end tables, and centre tables.
High backed settees used in the latter part of the 17th century and the early part of the 18th century were gradually replaced by low back sofas around about 1780 and these sofas were sometimes used in conjunction with sofa tables. Sofa tables were designed to stand at the back of the sofa, a development that had been made feasible by the lower back. They might have a candle on them and could be used to put down a book or a cup of tea or coffee between sips. All of these tables to some extent could be considered to be the predecessors of the modern coffee table.
The first wooden tables, in Britain, specifically designed as and called coffee tables, were made during the late Victorian era.
There is a table designed by E.W. Godwin in 1868 and made in large numbers by William Watt and Collinson and Lock which is listed as a coffee table in 'Victorian Furniture' by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray and also in 'The Country Life book of English Furniture' by Edward T. Joy. If this was indeed called a coffee table at the time, it may be one of the first examples of a coffee table made in Europe. Other sources, however, merely list it as a table so it is hard to be sure. What is notable about this table is that it is not a low table at all, but is actually about 27 inches high.
Picture of Marie-Therese seving coffee.


E. W. Godwin's influence can be seen in the furniture of the Arts and Crafts Movement. and it is quoted in several books about furniture that there are known examples of coffee tables made by it's proponents although no specific examples are given. But as Arts and Crafts furniture generally favoured an emphasis on the vertical components, they would have been unlikely to design a long low coffee table so it is probable that this design feature of coffee tables is a later one. There are, for instance, Art Nouveau coffee tables which are low tables. This idea may have been introduced from the Ottoman Empire, based on the tables in use in tea gardens, but it is worth noting that countries such as India and Japan also had the tradition of eating and drinking at low level and consequently used low tables. Japanese influences on English furniture design were reflected in the Anglo-Japanese style which was hugely popular throughout the 1870's and 1880's and so Japan is much more likely to be the source for the idea of a long low table.
It would appear that there are no known examples of coffee tables made before the mid to late 19th century. The fondness of furniture manufacturers for revivalism, from Victorian times onwards, confuses this issue as one can find examples of coffee tables in styles that would suggest erroneously that they were made at an earlier date. A web search of antique dealers will reveal numerous examples of, for instance, Louis XVI style or Georgian style coffee tables but not authentic coffee tables from those periods.
Another relevent factor is that, in the 20th century when coffee tables became increasingly popular, it was not unknown for the legs of tables, even antique tables, to be shortened to make a coffee table. This could falsely create the idea that coffee tables had originated at the earlier date that the table had been made.
Documents from the 17th and 18th century do not yield any mention of coffee tables. A search of Samuel Pepys Diary, (1633-1703), for instance reveals hundreds of references to the coffee house and to tables of various kinds but no reference to coffee tables. Nor can one find an example of a coffee table design in the pattern books of Thomas Sheraton or George Hepplewhite.
There is an interesting picture painted in 1760 of Marie Antoinette, (1775-1793), in which her sister Marie-Therese is serving coffee to her husband in front of the fire (above right). It is interesting in that, although she is serving coffee, the table is a pillar and claw tripod table of the type which, often with the addition of a hinged top, would have been known as a tea table.
Joseph Aronson defines a coffee table in 1938 as, "Low wide table now used before a sofa or couch." He adds, "There is no historical precedent......( my underline), which again suggests that coffee tables were a late development in the history of furniture.


Picture of Art Noveau coffee 


Pic of coffee table by Eileen 


Smoked glass Art Deco coffee table.


Mies van der Rohe coffee 


The evolution of the coffee table from the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century was influenced by the following factors.
  • New furniture became increasingly available and affordable to the populations of Europe and the U.S.A. due to mass production.
  • Advances in industrial technology created new design possibilities for using existing materials such as glass for coffee table tops, and new materials were developed that could be used in coffee table production such as chrome plating, stainless steel, formica, and acrylic.
  • Architects, interior designers, and sculptors from various design movements became involved in furniture design for the mass production market. As the century progressed they increasingly fostered the development of a modern style to counter the revivalist tendencies still entrenched among furniture manufacturers and the public at large since the 19th century.
Design Movements and Their Influence on Furniture Design (mid 19th century up to beginning of the 21st century)
During the Victorian era, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the manufacture of wooden furniture was gradually becoming industrialised by the use of woodworking machines and was less often made by hand by skilled craftsmen.
This mass production meant that furniture became cheaper and more available to a larger number of people. However it suffered from a lack of a cogent design philosophy appropriate to its new machine age status.
Most Victorian furniture of the time was heavily embellished with applied ornamentation and relied for its design inspiration on the revival of styles from previous centuries.
The Arts and Crafts Movement.
The Arts and Crafts movement, of which William Morris is perhaps the best known adherent, was based on the writings of John Ruskin and came into being as a reaction to this mass production. It aimed to restore the role of the craftsman and to establish a style suitable for the 19th century. Although there was some disagreement in the movement as to whether machines should be excluded from the production process altogether, most Arts and Crafts furniture was individually designed and constructed although it is possible that machines may have been used for some of the more mundane tasks such as planing up the sawn timber. It is stated in several furniture books that, "there are known examples of Arts and Crafts coffee tables," but no details are given.
Art Nouveau.
Art Nouveau grew out of the Arts & Crafts movement and shared some of its aspirations, but did not have an antipathy to the machine production process.
A variety of individual styles emerged from the movement, one of  the most striking, in the field of furniture design, being that of the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There is a table designed by Mackintosh that bears a striking resemblance to the coffee table designed by E. W. Godwin, but it is listed as "Table" rather than "Coffee Table".
The British coffee tables and furniture that resulted from this movement eschewed the fussy decoration of the Victorian period and also the use of revivalist styles, and had clean simple lines, often with a strong emphasis on the vertical components and decoration based on natural forms. French furniture tended to have more sinuous lines and be more elaborate. The movement came to an end during the 1st world war and was succeeded, after the war, by Art Deco.
An example of an Art Noveau coffee table is shown in the illustration number 1 in the column on the right.
Art Deco.
Art Deco drew its inspiration from contrasting sources including primitive art but also from modern forms such as aeroplanes. Its followers distanced themselves from the romanticism of Art Nouveau and saw themselves as more representative of the machine age, they used geometric curves, rather than organic curves based on the plant world, and straighter lines. As with Art Nouveau, some architects and interior designers also became involved with furniture design. Art Deco continued as a movement up until the outbreak of the Second World War. One of the newly available materials in the 30s in the U.S.A. although it didn't reach Britain until around 1947 was decorative Formica laminate. It was taken up by Art Deco designers, and there were coffee tables produced with formica tops. There were also many coffee tables designed using glass or glass and metal such as the smoked glass coffee table shown in illustration number 3.
Eileen Gray started as an artist and went on to become a furniture designer and then an architect, and was part of the Art Deco movement. She designed the table shown in illustration number 2 in 1927. Originally designed as a bed side table, it was later marketed as a coffee table.

The Bauhaus in Germany - 1919-1933.
In 1919 the German architect Walter Gropius took over the Weimer School of Arts & Crafts from the Belgium architect & furniture designer Henri Van de Velde, (one of the original founders of Art Noveau), and also the Weimer Academy of Fine Art and amalgamated them to form the Bauhaus.
The Bauhouse set out to produce a new generation of architects, designers, artists & craftsmen who were designing especially for the mass production market & attempting to achieve a style for the 'machine age' that rejected the idea of applied surface decoration and relied on the purity of the form.
Mies van der Rohe the architect took over as director of the Bauhaus in the 1930s. In 1929, he designed the glass topped coffee table on chromium plated steel bars shown in illustration 4. His motto was, "less is more," which epitomised the philosophy of the modernist movement.
The Bauhaus was closed under pressure from the Nazis in 1933 although it did open again subsequently in the U.S.A. for a brief period.


Picture of Noguchi coffee 


The influence on the design of coffee tables and other furniture by the design movements discussed on the previous page, along with the continuing development of industrial techniques lead to the production of coffee tables in materials other than wood, such as glass and metal, and also, in time, to designs using formica, chromium plating, and acrylic.
In the U.S.A, (partly because of a lack of historical baggage although there were also other reasons to do with the two world wars), the progress of modernist design and its acceptance by the public were more advanced than in Europe. The glass topped coffee table on two sculpted forms shown right for instance was designed in the U.S.A. by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi in 1944. To give another example, as mentioned previously, formica was in use in the U.S.A. in the thirties whilst not reaching Britain until 1947.
In Britain, between the wars, despite the existence of these modern designs and materials being available, mass produced coffee tables and other furniture were still primarily being produced in wood and in overly ornamented revivalist styles.
Influences on Coffee Table Design in Britain, World War 2 onwards.
Utility Furniture.
During the Second World War the shortage of timber lead the Board of trade to appoint a committee of designers to lay down simple standard designs for mass production of what was called utility furniture. This led to cleaner lined, simpler, functional furniture more fitted for mass production. The British Design Panel had drawn up designs for further ranges of utility furniture to be produced after the war but had to abandon their plans. Utility furniture was not popular with the public at large, being associated with the austerity of the war years. The large furniture manufacturers, mindful of what would sell, simply reverted to applying machine made applied ornamentation to their designs.
However, throughout the late 40s and early 50s, public attitudes started to change, the memories of the war years and rationing were beginning to recede, newly built housing, for the most part, had larger windows and rooms with lower ceilings than their Victorian counterparts creating a different type of space. A space in which the heavily ornamented, bulky, dark stained Victorian furniture began to look out of place, and so a desire for a more 'modern' type of furniture began to grow amongst consumers.
G Plan.
Pic of coffee table by Eileen Gray.


It took until 1954 for this growing demand to be recognised by the major manufacturers. That year saw E. Gomme Ltd, a High Wickham furniture manufacturer, launch the G Plan range of furniture. This was to be affordable furniture designed in a modern style, and the first to be promoted directly to the customer with national advertising, and displayed in showrooms in simulated room layouts. It became hugely popular throughout the sixties and was imitated by other furniture manufacturers. G Plan was one of the first companies to popularise teak Scandinavian design. There were many G plan coffee tables designs often combining wood with other materials like the table pictured on the right.
1960,s onward.
In 1964 Terence Conran opened the first Habitat selling modern designs of furniture, he was one of the first retailers to introduce pine furniture to Britain and the proliferation of cheap pine coffee tables and other furniture has continued till this day. The introduction of pine coffee tables was symptomatic of a moving away generally from the taste for dark stained furniture like the oak and mahogany favoured by the Victorians to lighter woods like pine, maple, birch, and beech.
The decades since the 60s have seen the introduction of self assembly flat pack furniture sold by large chains of DIY stores. This furniture is most often composed of chipboard covered with either a wood veneer or melamine designed to look like wood grain rather than being solid wood and could be said to complete the transition from the permanent to the disposable. So whereas a piece of furniture might have been kept for a lifetime and passed on as an inheritance, the cheaper types of mass produced modern furniture are frequently discarded when moving house or even revamping a room.
The Present.
As for the present time, as is befitting in this century where consumer choice is King, there now exists a plethora of styles. Revivalism never disappeared during the last century, there was an Art Deco revivalist movement in the 70s for instance, and it seems that the conflict between revivalism and modernism will never be resolved. Just as some people will always prefer to live in a period property and some in a modern apartment, some consumers prefer traditional styles and some prefer modern styles of coffee tables.
Nowadays, you can buy a mass produced wooden coffee table in virtually any reproduction style you like or in a cleaner lined more contemporary design. Glass topped coffee tables in modernist designs are available as are coffee tables in a variety of materials from bamboo to wrought iron and, thanks to the Internet, obtainable from around the world.
Makers of fine furniture still exist and train apprentices in the craft of fine furniture design & construction, (e.g. The Edward Barnsley Workshops near Petersfield in Hampshire), There also exist many small workshops making custom country wooden coffee tables like The Coffee Table.co.uk.

Researched & written by Nick at TheCoffeeTable.co.uk - Copyright © TheCoffeeTable.co.uk - Telephone: 01420 474862