Dining tables were massive and thick set, the baluster or bulbous legs getting held by strong stretchers which served as foot rests. The frieze is frequently carved, or much more seldom, as in the draw-prime table in the Victoria and Albert Museum, inlaid although at times the frieze is carved on the front only, the sides getting left plain. In late sixteenth-century stretchers there is a projection on the prime surface making it T-shaped in section, a kind which gives location to a rectangular section in the early seventeenth century. The table leg shows the fullest development of the bulbous support. Creating from the knop, the huge bulbous kind was established in the late years of the sixteenth century and existed for practically a century, for an oak table in the possession of Mr. Frank Green, dated 1668, has this bulbous gadrooned leg. An unusual variant is the dropped bulb.
Table tops were regularly covered with a “carpet” or “cloth” of Turkey function, coloured leather, or other supplies. The wonderful oval table with folding sides in the “Good Rooms or Hall subsequent the Banketing Residence” had its cover of red leather bordered with blue gilt leather, cut to fit it, as are the table covers depicted by Abraham Bosse, where the cloth, which hangs just about to the ground, is tied or buttoned at the corners.
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The columnar leg appears in the final decade of the sixteenth century, and is especially characteristic of the early seventeenth century. In some examples, as in the oak table 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-major assistance, ordinarily left plain and decorated with rings, was borrowed from Holland in the late seventeenth century.
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