Trestle table

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For other uses, see Trestle (disambiguation).
Long table and bench in the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum

A trestle table is an item of furniture comprising two or three trestle supports linked by a longitudinal cross-member over which a board or tabletop is placed.[1] In the Middle Ages the trestle table was often little more than loose boards over trestle legs for ease of assembly and storage.[2] This simple, collapsible style remained the most common Western form of table until the 16th century, when the basic trestle design gave way to stronger frame-based structures such as gateleg and refectory tables.[3] Ease of assembly and storage has made it the ideal occasional table, and it remains a popular form of dining table, as those seated are not so inconvenienced as they might be with the more usual arrangement of a fixed leg at each corner.

Construction and uses[edit]

Trestle tables figure prominently in the traditional Americana style of household furnishings, usually accompanied by spindle-backed chairs.[4] The trestles in this case are normally of much higher quality, often made of oak and braced with a stretcher beam using a keyed tenon through the centre of each trestle. These typically support a high-quality waxed oak tabletop.[5]


The decorator's trestle table is acknowledged as the basis of the pseudonym adopted by Robert Tressell, a decorator-turned-author, for his novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, published in 1910.

See also[edit]


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