Antique baker’s tables
Antique baker’s tables are tables used over 100 years ago for the purpose of baking and food preparation.
Background and Description
The art of baking spread across Europe thanks to the Roman Empire.
Gradually as the bread making process was refined, the need for kneading, and a solid surface at the right height on which to do so, was recognised. And so tables designed specifically for baking were produced. As time went on these tables were refined to incorporate extra assets to the bread making process, such as flour bins and pull-out bread boards.
These tables generally have a good solid unvarnished surface. They often have deep drawers, and also large bins built in underneath, designed for holding different kinds of flour. Above these are pull-out bread boards.
They come in numerous different designs and sizes as they were produced all over the world, by many different furniture makers, for both commercial bakers and for use in homes where bread was made daily. In these latter arrangements, the tables would likely have been used for all kinds of food preparation.
These antiques are generally hand-made and unique rather than mass produced, though several may come in the same style.
A company called the Hoosier manufacturing company of Indiana appropriated the existing design of the baking table into the ‘Hoosier cabinet’, a three-part cupboard with large base compartment, slide-out work surface, and drawers, along with racks and hardware to store food related items in, including a combination flour bin/sifter, a tin hopper built in and usable without having to remove it from the cabinet. These Hoosier cabinets, as well as a number of imitations that arose at the time, were common from the early 20th century until the 1920s, when they were replaced by more modern built-in kitchen fixtures.
Collecting antique baker’s tables
People generally collect antique baker’s tables for a display piece or for use in their own kitchen. There is not a large collecting community for antique baking tables, so they are not particularly sought-after and therefore not that valuable, except as pieces of hand-crafted antique furniture.
Antique baker’s tables are likely to have more value if their history, manufacture, and where they were used and who by, can be ascertained.
These tables generally sell for $100-$300 at auction, or on auction websites such as eBay.
Hoosier-style cabinets have sold for up to $1,500 at auction. These are cupboards rather than antique baking tables, however.
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