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Drop leaf tables usually date back to the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods and were very common in the late 1600ís to the early 1700ís. A drop leaf table normally has a fixed center with hinged tops that fold down when not in use. When the leafs are in use, there are different mechanisms to hold them in place depending on the age of the table itself. In the 1700ís, gate leg or swing leg tables were the norm. This means that a table leg that is normally folded in towards the base of the table swings out to support the top when in use. The first gate leg tables were introduced in England.
Perfect for crowded or small spaces, a drop leaf table can be used in many places; kitchen, dining room, or den. The leaves (tops) are folded down and out of the way until you need the space for entertaining or fancy dinner. Many of the drop leaf tables made here in America were made of pine or maple, but many others brought over from England and some that were made by the masters here in America are very ornate and richly decorated. These tables are a great asset to any home, but are especially nice in smaller apartments where space is at a premium.