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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Five most famous tables in history

We sit, eat, drink, daydream and work at them every day without giving these items much thought, but tables are more central to your life than you realised!

To show you how important these pieces of furniture have been down the ages, here’s a look at some of the most famous tables ever:

1. King Arthur’s Round Table

Legend has it that the Round Table hanging in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle is the one around which King Arthur and his knights gathered. Its mystique lingers, even though we now know it actually originated centuries later.

It was probably created near the end of the thirteenth century to celebrate the marriage of one of Edward I’s daughters. It had 12 outer legs and a central support, and is 5.5m across, weighing 1200kg and is made from English oak.

2. Aslan’s Table

Aslan’s Table from The Chronicles of Narnia, is a long one which found on Ramandu’s Island. It was placed there at Aslan’s request, for travellers from afar, at a place known as the beginning of the end of the world. It was always covered with delicious food and drink, eaten each morning by the sun birds.

The White Witch’s Stone Knife, which she had used to kill Aslan on the Stone Table, is also set out on this table.

3. The Table for the Last Supper

It was, of course, immortalised by Leonardo da Vinci, but was the table at which Jesus and his disciples ate the last supper really like the one in the famous painting?

In fact, in first century Israel, the table would be likelier to have been three-sided. And people would have probably lain on cushions rather than sat at it. No-one can really know what it looked like, but, in all well-known representations, the table itself is always covered.

Jesus would probably have sat on the left hand side of the table as you faced it, with Judas and John on either side of him. The least honoured place was at the far opposite end, where it’s thought Peter sat.

4. The Cabinet Table, Downing Street

The Cabinet table, bought during the Gladstone era, dominates the Cabinet Room. The modern boat-shaped top, introduced by Harold MacMillan in the late 1950s, is supported by massive original oak legs. There are 23 carved, solid mahogany chairs from the same period. The Prime Minister's chair, the only one with arms, faces the windows. Each Cabinet member has a chair based on their seniority. Blotters inscribed with their titles mark ministers’ places.

5. Table on which the Declaration of US Independence was Signed

The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, announcing that the 13 American colonies, then at war with Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer part of the British Empire.

The table on which this world-changing document was signed was an ancient oak model. It was presented to the Bismarck family, before being given to the Bismark Museum near Berlin.

Looking for a table of your own? Whether you are looking for chairs or a glass or oak dining table, check out Harveys Furniture blog or website for more inspiration, and just think of the stories that will surround it in the future.

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