Antique Coffee Table: Identification and Value Guide

Almost every living room to accompany the time can’t come without coffee tables. And usable antique coffee tables seem quite ubiquitous to the modern decoration.

But you must check antique coffee table identification to find the precise market value. Experts in the subject stand to prepare a comprehensive guideline to initiate a start.

Coffee Table Evolution through History

It’s almost impossible to determine the exact origin of coffee tables from a historical timeline. However, the term ‘coffee table’ came into the picture in the early Victorian period. But the creation as well as its usage happened a lot earlier.

Passionate European interior designers settled for tea tables since the early 17th century. But the tall frame to integrate a rounded tabletop featured minimal resemblance with modern-day teat table.

Introduction of coffee to central Europe denoted a historical moment in the history of mankind. And the evolution of coffee table is likely to start to accompany the décor. Also, the establishment of many coffee houses started to take place.

Britain observed a major spurt in its coffee houses to encourage the demand for coffee tables. And the 18th-century introduction of sofa-coffee table combination literally settled the modern tradition.

Defined Styles of Antique Coffee Table

The continuously evolving style maintains a pace with the antique coffee tables. For the best part, the compact structure can comfortably adorn many different details. However, you ought to make a conceivable start with the standard designs.

Vintage Oval White Wicker Rattan Coffee Table Boho Shabby Chic Coastal MCM Vintage Oval White Wicker Rattan Coffee Table Boho Shabby Chic Coastal MCM

Coastal – The style isn’t exactly very old to qualify as antiques more often. However, you can certainly encounter at least some vintage designs. Light wooden tone, natural shape & airy feel imparts a definite causal-level outlook.

Nathan James Bodhi Mid-Century Nesting Coffee Table Set of 2 Nathan James Bodhi Mid-Century Nesting Coffee Table Set of 2

Contemporary – It’s indeed an elaborate category of styles to encompass various designs. The design should incorporate somewhat modern elegance to the old frame. Wedge-shaped ottoman detaches from the transformative appearance.

Coffee Table Lineberry Industrial Antique Vintage Furniture Coffee Table Lineberry Industrial Antique Vintage Furniture

Industrial – The outlook is sure to evoke an industrial feel with a purposeful look using factory tools. Roughly hewed metal with wood initiated a heavy, sturdy, durable construction. A loft-style living room decoration can match the details.

Berkeley Espresso Leather Storage Ottoman Coffee Table Berkeley Espresso Leather Storage Ottoman Coffee Table

Ottoman – Using the ottomans as a coffee table is more like a very recent household trend. You’re to check antique, vintage & even reproductions from the choices. The popularity already managed to trigger ‘ottoman coffee table’ trading.

Antique Farmhouse Coffee Cocktail Table Rustic Storage Trunk Accent Home Decor Antique Farmhouse Coffee Cocktail Table Rustic Storage Trunk Accent Home Decor

Rustic – The particular style managed to evoke the countryside for centuries. Almost entire frame holds wooden construction in a simplified pattern. Professional restoration should allow the table to glow within the guest/living room décor.

Antique Vintage Cherry Wood Oval Coffee Table - Nice!! Antique Vintage Cherry Wood Oval Coffee Table – Nice!!

Traditional – It’s undeniably the most common style to satisfy the demand within budget. Its appeal counts exceptionally timeless to serve the décor for centuries. Carved wood had to craft the frame in well-defined rectangular or oval shapes.


Vintage – The particular style often settled for a quirky design philosophy from the last century. Many frames utilized repurposed materials to accomplish craftsmanship. It can provide a unique touch to other antiques in your space.

Frame Material vs Surface Material

Frame itself should incorporate the same material as the tabletop surface. However, the tabletop may differ from the supporting structure to a great extent. And a wide range of variations is available to grow your confusion on purchase.

The supporting frame is likely to feature different types of wood or metal. Almost all the antique pieces integrated either of the two on different parts. In addition, a large number of coffee tables features distinctive wood-metal combination.

Meanwhile, the flat surface on top may hold either the glass, wood, metal, or rattan. Likewise, wood remains the primary preference for antique pieces. But vintage designs, as well as restoration, may transform the tabletop materials at once.

Glass, rattan, or leather is a recent-time characteristic of restored coffee tables. Therefore, you can certainly conduct an extensive confirmation experiment with the frames. But don’t miss the rustic metal or deteriorating wood before purchase.

Wood/Metal Types in Antique Coffee Table

As mentioned, antique furniture pieces feature either wood or metal or combo for the structure. But not every wood type can secure your investment. That’s where you need to catch certain types.

Wood is indeed the most common element to construct antique furniture pieces. And coffee tables or similar designs present no viable difference either. Almost all the wooden antique tables feature solid hardwood structures with minimal metal elements.

We’re talking about deciduous trees to deliver the intended hardwood. It counts – Maplewood, Oak, Walnut & Mahogany for the majority. Of course, different hardwoods held distinctive service specs.

However, antique metal pieces are somewhat less sturdy in comparison to modern ones. Cast iron structure managed to induce a reasonable tabletop for rough/commercial uses. But you can’t expect the early metal version to check superb sturdiness at all.

(Source – Marylebone Antiques) antique_walnut_coffee_table_circular

How to Identify Real Antique Coffee Table?

It’s somewhat challenging to find out the real antiques from an overwhelming number of designs. There are many reproductions in the market with some new tables to possess old-school appeal.

Extreme attention to the antique identification can settle the score on your side. But minimal details can give you explicit trouble at the start. You should initiate digging the obvious facts from online resources to know the identifying marks.

Also, checking the specs from online sites to offer a good deal can provide help. Know the specs of individual wood or metal type from the past. There, you can start looking into reproduction details.

Detectable structural imperfection remains the very first trademark of century-old antique pieces. Also, you need to observe the joinery to point out any viable distortion. Random deterioration with poor finish may comply with the antiquity.

How to Identify Real Antique Coffee Table
(Credit – Antiques World) How to Identify Real Antique Coffee Table

Expert Tips on Antique Coffee Table

You may get yourself expensive, impressive & applicable antique pieces for empty spaces. However, neglecting some minor details can plunge the appeal on fitment. But our experts made an elaborate list to occupy the emptiness perfectly.

  • Keep yourself in touch with the seller to gather every essential detail. And determine your actual intention regarding its uses in house, office, or balcony space.
  • Measure the entire room size to sort the available space for extensions. In fact, smaller space availability will require you to skip any large-sized coffee table.
  • Placement of the table in front of a sectional should check the geometric size. Table size, shape & accommodation highly depends on the intended consideration.
  • Majority of the collectors prefer a delicate sectional–table combination. And the chosen coffee table’s size must compliment the size of supporting furniture.
  • Keep the existing décor in mind to surge the appearance of the table. You’ll have to conduct primary color experiments to confirm the perfect arrangement.
  • Overall symmetry plays an important part in maintaining the perfect décor. That’s where you ought to consider the antique furniture piece’s visible shape.
  • It’s entirely possible to make an otherwise match using the color details. Utilize your instinct to explore the ultimate outlook in your imagination on purchase.
  • Every room comes with multiple corners, depending on the structural pattern. And you can certainly fill the empty corner space to accommodate some belongings.

Experts already suggested a matching décor to justify the purchase. However, you can check amazing makeover ideas from Nessie Does It, Domestic Diva DIY, or Jamie Bittinger.

Sectional Specs to Check Antique Coffee Table

Not to mention, coffee tables in front of a sectional or sofa set remain the most common practice. You should take a good look at the sectional/sofa designs to support a particular table size.

  1. A square or corner sectional should go with a square or round coffee table. It’ll allow everybody to access the tabled items comfortably.
  2. But chaise or L sectionals often go perfectly with rectangular or oval tables. The visible surface can fill the elongated empty space.
  3. Noticeably large U sectional requires appropriate matching details. Space can accommodate square, oval or rectangular designs.

Antique Coffee Table Valuation

Almost everybody desires to determine the exact market value of a possessed or preferred option. However, evaluating the amount counts many interdependent factors for any genuine antique.

Size, construction, style, condition – every antique requires the intended points to be addressed in perfect methods. Rarity or special design is indeed the ultimate factor to initiate a skyrocketing value.

You must take notes of the entire structure to explain the coffee table in simple words. Enlisting any specific damage, repair, or deterioration remains a great strategy to narrow down the market price.

Appointing appraisals seems a faster method of confirming the antique’s actual tag. However, online services to estimate the amount may differ from the actual due to picture effect & wood quality.

There are no direct resources to let you catch the antiquity, value, or supporting facts. Still, you can develop an approximate idea of the possibilities using online books, articles & pro suggestions.

Final Words

Making the perfect match using coffee tables will take time for beginner-level collectors. But the aforementioned details should narrow down the elaborations at once. Keep yourself engaged in the platforms to deal with antique coffee tables for additional facts.

Leave a Comment