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 Victorian country pine dresser, circa 1890, the dresser with an extended shaped cornice above a gothic arch border, having a typical tongue and groove back, two shelves with hanging hooks and plate racks to an extended lower section with a pair of drawer

A Victorian country pine dresser, 19th century, of rustic styling, in pale waxed timber, with an architectural cornice above a pair of glazed doors with a single shelf flanked by fluted pilasters with small leaf form corbels above an open compartment on ba

Late Victorian kauri pine kitchen dresser of large proportions having cutlery drawers and spice drawers

A late Victorian two height dresser, two drawers and two cupboards to the base and two blind and one central glazed door to the top on turned feet 249 cm high, 150 cm wide, 53 cm deep

Early Victorian mahogany dresser/desk the fully mahogany lined drawers with an interesting configuration and attractively decorated knee well and legs with complimenting hand carving and mounted on brass castors. Height 75 cm. Length 102 cm. Width 56 cm

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