Article of furniture used in the Western world since at least the 7th century BC, consisting of a flat slab of stone, metal, wood, or glass supported by trestles, legs, or a pillar. Though tables were used in ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Greece, only during the Middle Ages, with the growing formality of life under feudalism, did tables increasingly take on social significance. Tables with attached legs appeared in the 15th century. The draw top was invented in the 16th century, making it possible to double the table length. Increasing contact with the East in the 18th century led to increasing specialization in the design of occasional tables.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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