What is a Tripod Table?

Sheri Cyprus

A tripod table is a small furniture piece with three legs. There are both antique and modern versions of tripod tables. Although the looks and styles of individual tables in this category vary greatly, a tripod table always has three legs. The concept for these tables is similar to camera stand tripods; the design for cameras features three cylindrical legs that are joined at the top by a small round piece.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Most tripod tables have round tops, but some are square or rectangular. A tripod table may even have a geometric multi-sided top such as an octagon. Many tripod tables are the ideal size for an end table beside a sofa. The tabletops are usually large enough to hold a table lamp or a few small accessories. A pair of tripod tables could make light and airy nightstands on either side of a bed.

Some modern pedestal tripod tables have drumstick style legs and a glass top. The stick legs crisscross at the center and the upper ends of the sticks sit at three points under the tabletop. Other modern tripod table styles have a three-pronged aluminum base and a glass or wood top. The aluminum legs may sweep outward from a round metal fitting under the top of the table.

Antique tripod tables usually have a single pedestal base that branches out into three separate feet. Many of these antique side pedestal tripod tables are elaborately carved. The pedestal style of tripod table may fold; the top may be able to be folded on one side of the base. A Chinese antique tripod table usually has an abundance of carving detail that includes the top and the feet. The pedestal bases on antique Chinese tripod tables are also carved, although they may be in a different pattern than the rest of the table.

Wrought iron tripod tables are available in two main types. One kind of iron tripod table has three elaborate metal openwork panels that support a round glass top. The other commonly produced type of wrought iron tripod table has a round wooden top and three single metal legs. The legs are often scrolled into curves at the top and bottom. Extra metal sections may be included as braces that connect each wrought iron table leg.

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