Learn about Games Table

A small table equipped with an inlaid chess board and sometimes a backgammon board. They are often fitted with drawers to hold games pieces, pencils, score sheets and so on. The tops of these tables are sometimes reversible, sometimes opening to reveal the chess board beneath. Examples dating from the 18th century are known, but most still available are of Victorian origin. Many Australian games tables have survived, with the chess board made of stained woods or sometimes consisting of many different inlaid native timbers. Card tables are a variant of the games table.

Learn about Card and Games Tables

Also known as 'gaming tables'. From the early 18th century there have been a wide variety of styles and designs. The playing tops are usually covered with cloth or green baize. Queen Anne and early Georgian examples, with simple cabriole legs, often had recesses for gambling chips. Fold-over card tables, either rectangular or circular were introduced during the mid-18th century, and continued to be made until this century. In some versions, the table legs opened by a concertina or gateleg action to provide support for the top. Other tables, dating from the early 19th century, had a swivel top that rested when opened on the pedestal block or a box-like construction to contain the cards. Collectors will have to rely on stylistic and other evidence to judge the age of card tables, whether they be the elegant half-round tables on tapered and strung legs of the Neoclassical style, the early Victorian pedestal card tables, or the later 19th century card tables frequently veneered in burr walnut in the Rococo revival manner. The small, square tables with fold-up legs and baize or leather tops are a 20th century innovation.
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A games top huon pine and cedar tilt top wine table, circa 1830, 70 cm high, 40 cm wide, 40 cm deep

A N.Z. colonial native timbers inlaid chess top table, of octagonal shape on dark stained turned pedestal support with tripod base. The intricate inlaid top with a tumbling block border design and thumbnail moulded edge. Ex. the estate of Ruth Simon, Sydne

A cedar, huon pine and blackwood circular games table, Tasmanian, circa 1875, 76.5 cm high, 64.5 cm wide. Literature: Australian Furniture: Pictorial History and Dictionary, 1788-1938, Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson, Casuarina Press Ptd Ltd, Woollahra p. 43

Games Table. Cedar, blackwood & huon pine circular top wine table on turned base. Circa 1880s. Height 72 cm, diameter 45 cm

A colonial NZ timbers inlaid chess table of octagonal form on turned column and tripod base. Height 72 cm. Diameter 70 cm. Provenance: Ruth Simon Estate, Sydney

Vintage circular leather topped games table with leather inset top, Ex NSW sports club

A West Australian specimen tilt top chess table, c.1880's, manufactured with inlaid woods including jarrah, she-oak, cedar and various other timbers, with a turned central pedestal column upon inlaid platform base with three turned bun feet. Height 71.5 cm

An Australian cedar and specimen wood games tables labelled R.T. Carter, circa 1870, labelled R.T. Carter, circa 1870 the circular tilt top with a central specimen timber chess board and border made from native Australian timbers including, cedar, musk, ca

An Australian huon pine specimen top occasional table, Tasmania, circa 1860, the octagonal top inlaid with various native timbers in a geometric pattern with a central chess board supported on a tulip carved column with three out-swept scrolled legs, 56 cm

A fine musk huon-pine circular and specimen wood chess table, Tasmanian, circa 1835. 72 cm high, 51 cm diameter

Victorian walnut games table oval of serpentine outline with drop sides inlaid with a chess board, with carved bulbous column on four carved out swept supports. Provenance acorn Antiques Melbourne. 71 cm high, open 76 cm wide 54 cm deep.

A pair of Australian rosewood and cedar games tables by Charles Hunt, circa 1847, the rectangular hinged top with concaved front and sides, one enclosing a round baize, the other a shaped baize above a plain frieze, supported on a slender faux rosewood col

A fine Australian fiddleback blackwood demi-lune games table, circa 1900, in the George III manner, the segmentally veneered and cross-banded fold-over top opening to a baize-lined playing surface, on square-section legs, the outer faces of the legs inlaid

A fine nest of three George IV rosewood tables, English, circa 1825 one for woolwork, one for games and one occasional, the largest 69 cm high, 47 cm wide and 34 cm deep. Provenance: Christie's Melbourne 2002 March lot 190

A notable 19th century Tasmanian colonial, Cassarina games table, the fold over top enclosing huon pine, blackwood and musk crib board with a cylindrical column and on platform base the reeded bun feet. Height 75 cm. Width 92 cm. Depth 49 cm.

A fine quality ebonized papier-mache chess table, with impressed maker's mark of the famous firm of Jennens and Bettridge Birmingham (1815-1864). Gothic style with a cylindrical column on a shaped plinth. Provenance: Ainger Auctions Melbourne. Height 69 cm

An Australian cedar games / work table, circa 1835, the square top with a specimen wood chess board above a single drawer with ebony handles and locking pin for the work basket below, raised on a turned column and four acanthus leaf carved scrolled legs, t

A George II yew wood, casuarina and amboyna games table, the rectangular hinged top opening to reveal an inlaid chess board on tapering square legs;. Width 52 cm. Depth 49 cm. Height 72 cm

A Levantine games table, featuring backgammon and baize, inlaid in camphor, ebony, mother-of-pearl and cedar of Lebanon, some weathering, 60 cm wide, 32 cm deep, 58 cm high

A Colonial New Zealand specimen timbers games occasional table the shaped top with figured timber geometric inlay of honeyed hues, enclosing a central games board, the alternating squares of rewarewa veneer, the top encircled by an intricate shaped apron a

Winks & Hall card table c.1885 This exceptional card or games table is attributed to the substantial cabinetmaking firm Winks & Hall who commenced trade c.1863 and continued through to the 1930's in their Shortland Street premises. Extensive use is made of

A specimen wood parquetry and faux lacquer chess board table Australian, 19th century. 64 x 49 x 49 cm

A small specimen wood games table, circa 1920 32 x 75 cm Australian 32 cm square, 75 cm high. Provenance: Private Collection, NSW