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...
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

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

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 good 19th century French elm and fruitwood dresser base, the long rectangular top above three frieze drawers to one side with brass shaped and pierced back plate swing handles, chamfered rectangular section legs, pegged detail, good patina. 226 cm x 51 c

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

An 18th century oak and elm dresser base of rectangular form with moulded edge, three deep frieze drawers on square tapering supports. Height 82 cm. Length 181 cm. Depth 45 cm

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