Learn about Dresser

An essential feature of every well equipped kitchen, the name derives from the board or table on which meat was 'dressed' or food prepared.

Over time, the design of the dresser has changed, even though the nomenclature is unchanged.

Dressers were particularly popular in Wales, northwest and southwest England, each type having strong regional characteristics.

First introduced in the 18th century, the dresser consisted of a base containing shelves, drawers and cupboards, and an open upper section, with stepped shelves known as the 'rack', for storing plates and other crockery.

Some dressers, particularly from Wales and northern England had panelled backs, while others have open backs so the wall behind the back of the upper section of the dresser is visible.

Alternatively the rack was sometimes attached directly to the kitchen wall rather than remain free standing upon the base, which explains why so many of them have since been lost.

The base could take many forms. more...

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A George III oak low dresser, circa 1780 having a rectangular planked top, three frieze drawers with brass handles, supported on stile feet, 82 cm high, 203 cm wide, 49 cm deep

A George II style hardwood dresser base, 20th century. 190 cm wide, 50 cm deep, 80 cm high

A good Sefton Powrie oak dresser base, in the Georgian country style, plank top with rounded edges, three frieze drawers with shaped brass back plate swing handles, raised on square section legs, good dark colour and polish. 182 cm x 48 cm x 820.

An 18th century George III oak dresser base with a plank top, above three drawers on square tapering legs. 83 cm high, 172 cm wide, 41 cm deep. Provenance: Miles Bovell Antiques.

An 18th century oak dresser base with plank top, above three drawers on square chamfered legs. 77 cm high, 181 cm wide,52 cm deep.

Georgian oak Welsh dresser, with open shelves, 2 cabinets & 2 drawers above 3 larger lower drawers, 183 cm wide, 47 cm deep, 174 cm high

An exceptional walnut and fruitwood provincial farmhouse dresser with original brass work, Brest region, French, 18th century. 214 cm high, 135 cm wide, 56 cm deep

A George III planked top oak dresser base, late 18th century. 83 cm high, 162 cm wide, 48 cm deep

A George III oak dresser base rectangular, with two geometric panelled drawers with brass loop handles, raised on turned supports, 181 x 88 x 51 cm

An 18th century French walnut kitchen dresser with a bordered plate rack and panelled doors, the lower section with a further three doors, with star motif inlay, cabriole supports, 216 x 242 x 50 cm

A George III oak dresser base, circa 1790 rectangular, with three frieze drawers and two central drawers flanked by a further two cupboard doors, raised on block supports, 203.5 x 93 x 61 cm

Georgian style oak kitchen dresser with open shelves & a small cabinet above 3 drawers, shaped apron & open lower shelf, 137 cm wide, 180 cm high

A George III oak dresser base, with moulded panels to drawers, English, circa 1790. 77 cm high x 183 cm wide x 48 cm deep

A Welsh elm dresser base, 18th century. 88 cm high x 195 cm wide x 46 cm deep

An early 18th century oak dresser base, the rectangular top with a moulded edge, above three drawers, with a shaped apron, raised on turned supports joined by back stretcher. 86 cm high, 185 cm wide and 53 cm deep.

An 18th century fruitwood dresser base with two drawers on square chamfered supports with under shelf. 80 cm high, 134 cm long, 43 cm deep

A George III 18th century oak Welsh dresser, the raised back with pediment and frieze, above three moulded shelves, the base with three frieze drawers, above three further drawers, flanked by panel door cupboards, raised on bracket feet. 212 cm high, 174 c

Georgian Welsh oak three drawer dresser, cabriole legs, approx 78 cm high, 167 cm wide, 40 cm deep

Antique Georgian English oak dresser, approx 202 cm high, 155 cm wide

A George III oak low dresser, English, circa 1750, the rectangular top above three drawers on shaped cabriole legs, 76 cm high, 192 cm wide and 47 cm deep

A Georgian style oak dresser, open shelves above base, 220 cm high, 170 cm wide, 47 cm deep

18th century French oak and pine three-drawer dresser base. 182 cm x 74 cm x 69 cm

Antique late 18th early 19th century French two height dresser, in oak and walnut, approx H:226 cm x L:127 cm

A George III oak and elm low dresser, English, 18th century. 87 cm high, 160 cm wide and 46 cm deep. Provenance: Private Collection, Melbourne

A George III oak dresser, probably Lancastrian, late 18th century the top section with three panelled back shelves, the lower section with three frieze drawers, brass handles and ivory escutcheons and an under tier. 157 cm wide, 44 cm deep, 198 cm high.

A small fruitwood dresser base of Georgian style, the plain four plank top with clenched ends supported on four tapering oblong section legs, three deep drawers across the front with brass bale handles. 134 cm x 42 cm x 82 cm

George II oak dresser, with moulded cornice above open plate rack, the lower section pinned with a pair of panelled doors on block feet. Provenance: part furnishing of the historical important Ross house, 292 Cotham Rd, Kew, removed after 2003 Sale by the

Exceptional 18th century oak Welsh dresser of good proportions, fitted with inlaid escutcheons and brass hardware

A George II oak dresser base, the front with three short drawers each with two heavy block moulded panels and oval knob handles, the open base with turned supports and plain stretchers. 182.5 x 56 x 81 cm

A French provincial cherry wood dresser, late 18th/early 19th century, the upper part with two galleried shelves, the projecting lower part with a pair of frieze drawers and a pair of panelled cupboard doors, the sides panelled. Height 199 cm. Width 137 cm

A George III oak dresser, 18th century 226 cm high 187 cm wide, 48 cm deep

A mid 18th century Welsh oak dresser base the rectangular panelled top above three short drawers and two central cupboard doors flanked by two false cupboards, raised on square stils, alterations 176 cm wide, 52 cm deep, 91 cm high

An 18th century country oak dresser and base, with moulded cornice above six shelves, below the base with an arrangement of three drawers with brass handles, on turned legs. Height 192 cm. Width 167 cm. Depth 56 cm.

A good Georgian oak and mahogany cross-banded Welsh dresser, circa 1780 214 x 215 cm

A George III oak dresser the raised back with moulded pediment and frieze a plate rack with three moulded shelves the base with a pair of panel doors with brass knobs handles on block feet. Height 190 cm. Length 190 cm. Depth 55 cm

A Georgian period elm highback country dresser, the base with three drawers and two panelled cupboard doors, the boarded back with two open shelves. Width 158 cm. Depth 45 cm. Height 192 cm

Fruitwood and elm dresser 18th century rectangular top with three short drawers below, each draw with brass pulls and shaped back plates. Height 76 cm. Length 170 cm. Depth 41 cm