Originally called a rent table which stood in the centre of the hall, and tenants of the estate would line up to pay their rent or conduct business with the Estates Manager. The table would be of drum form with a pedestal base and spayed feet.
The top would be either round or octagonal and made of sturdy oak or walnut. The perimeter of the table would have seven drawers, one for each day of the week and perhaps one to hold cash.
As the estate evolved from austere to grand, the center table evolved as well. The estate business moved to the manager?s office and the centre table became an object of beauty rather than one of practicality. Now the entry hall was designed to impress rather than to conduct business. The top furniture designers of the 18th Century, Chippendale for example, were creating important tables using exotic woods from the colonies and displaying luxurious items.