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  • n. via Old French from Latin tabula a writing tablet. A piece of furniture consisting of a flat, slablike top supported on one or more legs or supports, on top of which various activities are carried out, or which serves as a base for objects for use or display. It may be made of wood, stone, marble, metal, rattan, wicker or papier-mâché. The table may have storage areas. Tables with a stable assembled structure became widespread in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and their formal varieties multiplied, adapting to very specific functions: writing, bedside tables, toilette tables, game tables, painter's tables, architect's tables, etc. The 18th century brought a variety of mechanisms to facilitate access to increasingly complex compartments. The dining room chair appeared in the last quarter of the 18th century, and the sofa a little later.

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