To facilitate dancing and card-playing, dining tables were designed so they could be dismantled and placed about the walls, hence the term economy table.
This fine example made of Cuban mahogany dates to about 1775.
The candelabra centrepiece on the table, showing the virtuoso craftsmanship of the Waterford glassworkers, was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace London in 1851 opened by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The exuberance of the centrepiece with its many faceted crystal drops is in sharp contrast to the wall sconces in the same room which were commissioned for the Quaker Meeting House in O’Connell Street, Waterford in the 1780s.
The core of the Waterford Treasures collection of glass is a complete dessert service dating to the early nineteenth century, consisting of plates, lidded plates, icepails, a tall lidded sweetmeats jar and a comport (bowl on a foot). Two very fine celery vases dating from the late 18th century show how popular celery was in the 18th century when it was considered an aphrodisiac.
In the Dining Room is the largest public display in Ireland of historic Waterford glass, that most elegant of crafts, for which Waterford is renowned. The display includes special bowls for rinsing glasses for different wines during a meal, another economy in an era when most water had to be fetched from a well.