Desk tops were continuously coated with a “carpet” or “cloth” of Turkey work, coloured leather-based, or different supplies. The great oval desk with folding sides in the “Nice Rooms or Corridor next the Banketing Home” had its cover of pink leather bordered with blue gilt leather-based, reduce to fit it, as are the desk covers depicted by Abraham Bosse, where the fabric, which hangs nearly to the ground, is tied or buttoned on the corners.
Dining tables were massive and thick set, the baluster or bulbous legs being held by strong stretchers which served as foot rests. The frieze is commonly carved, or extra hardly ever, as in the draw-high table in the Victoria and Albert Museum, inlaid; while generally the frieze is carved on the entrance only, the sides being left plain. In late sixteenth-century stretchers there’s a projection on the top floor making it T-formed in part, a sort which gives place to an oblong section within the early seventeenth century. The desk leg reveals the fullest development of the bulbous help. Developing from the knop, the big bulbous type was established in the late years of the sixteenth century and existed for almost a century, for an oak table within the possession of Mr. Frank Green, dated 1668, has this bulbous gadrooned leg. An unusual variant is the dropped bulb.
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Oval and spherical tables have been much used in the seventeenth century.
Small tables to be used in parlors diverse within the form of the top, which was oval, round, or octagonal. Carefully related are the octagonal table, dated 1606, in the possession of the Carpenters’ Firm, and Elias Ashmole’s table at Oxford. In each the slender bulbous legs are fluted, and the arcading is notched; whereas within the Carpenters’ Company’s table there’s a moulded surrounding and plain cross stretcher. Folding or flap tables, during which the flap is supported by a swinging leg, were light in make, and sometimes set against the wall until required. Such tables seem in the manuscript inventory taken in 1569 of products at Tannis, in Hertfordshire, and in that of household stuff at Howard House in 1598??.
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The columnar leg appears within the final decade of the sixteenth century, and is particularly attribute of the early seventeenth century. In some examples, as within the oak desk in St Michael’s Church, St Albans, the leg has a quasi-classical capital. Baluster legs, turned and ringed, replaced the bulbous leg in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. An elongated peg-high help, usually left plain and adorned with rings, was borrowed from Holland within the late seventeenth century.
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