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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An English oak open front dresser. 181 cm high, 160 cm wide, 47 cm deep

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 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.

French Normandy region oak dresser open shelved top, two door base, approx 186 cm high, 132 cm wide, 32 cm deep

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.

A Continental style oak dresser base fitted with two drawers on turned legs and stretcher. 83.5 cm high, 180 cm wide, 54 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

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

A 19th century oak and mahogany Caernarvonshire dresser, with pierced cornice above open shelves and glazed cupboards, the breakfront base fitted with drawers and cupboards; bone diamond lozenge bone escutcheons; on bracket feet. Height 207 cm. Width 166 c

A Charles II oak dresser, with plain pediment and galleried shelves, the base with three twin-panelled drawers with brass drop handles and escutcheons, on three turned front legs. Height 170 cm. Width 160 cm. (ex.Sotheby's Australia; ex.collection Lord McA

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

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

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.

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

Louis VX style provincial oak kitchen dresser 'Vassellier' circa 1840 approx 234 cm high, 135 cm wide, 53 cm

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

An oak Jacobean style dresser, English 19th century. 216 cm high, 135 cm wide and 47 cm deep. (With a separate marble top for the dresser base)

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

An oak Welsh dresser, the open plate rack back with broad boards, two shelves, the shaped frieze and top shelf with wrought iron tankard hook, the lower section with two frieze drawers above an open pot rack. 135 cm x 52 cm x 189 cm

An oak dresser and base, 206 cm high, 175 cm wide and 56 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 English oak Welsh dresser, three drawer base with carved arched open top, approx 198 cm high, 200 cm wide

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 French provincial style oak three door dresser base with three frieze drawers, block supports, 161 x 106.5 x 46 cm

An early 19th century Welsh oak dresser, with a three tier boarded plate rack 203 x 176 x 52 cm

An French oak marble topped walnut dresser, circa 1880s, having a rectangular back with a stepped pediment above a shelf supported by two columns, with a fret worked display gallery upon a rouge marble table over two drawers and doors with carved and mould

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.

An antique oak Welsh dresser comprising three drawers above an open shelf and two plate rack shelves to the upper section. Height 173 cm. Width 153 cm. Depth 40 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 French oak provincial kitchen dresser with dentil cornice above open shelves