Nested Tables - A Group - A Flock - What?

Nested Tables - A Group - A Flock - What?

February is one of those months that most of us tend to try to get behind us as quickly as possible. We’re helped in this by the month being the shortest of the twelve, but still, it seems to drag on with its cold, wet and wind! Even so, it’d be nice to be able to tuck it away similar to one of the smaller matryoshka Russian dolls, or tidily like a nested table.

I’m sure that when Thomas Sheraton first came up with the idea of the nested table in the eighteenth century, he didn’t think about one of them as an unfavourable month that needed hiding away. I wonder though whether he considered what the grouping name of these items should be. I’m afraid that this is the kind of thing that runs through my mind. Not enough to keep me up at night, you understand, but enough to get me onto Google to try to find out if there’s an official, or even unofficial term. Perhaps there’ll be an ongoing argument, which I’d always like to get stuck into!

So where would you be in that discussion? They’re well ordered, so a flock might not really fit the bill, although the formations that some flocks of birds adopt during migration suggests that there could be an argument against this. Elephants gather together in a parade, which rather fits the bill of tidiness. The thought of putting elephants away in a nested fashion leaves me a little confused though!

Sheraton’s quartetto tables consisted of four stacking tables (not elephants thank goodness - you’d need rather a sizable room for that) that graduated in size. They were usually stored away to be brought out as the need arose for tea, embroidery or gaming when in company.
The space-saving that this concept offers has meant that they’ve constantly evolved, most strikingly with the advent of the Bauhaus movement in the tween-war period of the twentieth century.
The table design here was notable for the mix of wood and tubular metal.

The more unusual design of the Bauhaus tables gives us a new angle for our grouping names too perhaps. A clowder, as of cats (no, I didn’t know that one either), an unkindness of ravens, a murder of crows, or a stench of skunks. Who came up with those? The stench I can understand, but the other two…? The stench is pretty good, but my personal favourite of those I researched is the jellyfish. This grouping is known as a smack. Just makes me smile. I don’t know why!

We’ve got some rather nice nested tables at Slate & Rose. But which ones to choose? You’ll need a shrewdness (just like a group of apes), but you shouldn’t need to be a sleuth (bears would you believe?), as they’re all here on the website. They’re going quite quickly, however, possibly due to their charm (foxes).

Out of all the group names mentioned here though, and indeed the ones I haven’t, I think the best fit for a group of nested tables has to be the one associated with the otter. Just like the creature itself, this type of table is sleek, graceful and attractive, so the epithet of ‘family’ says it all to me. What do you think? Do you have any better ideas?,_attributed_to_Thomas_Seymour,_painting_attributed_to_John_Ritto_Penniman,_Boston,_1804-1810,_maple,_paint_-_National_Gallery_of_Art,_Washington_-_DSC09744.JPG


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