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 kauri pine kitchen dresser, Barossa Valley South Australia, 19th century, 204 cm high, 115 cm wide, 52 cm deep

19th century huon pine kitchen dresser with wide 38 cm backboards (145 cm wide x 50 cm deep x 200 cm high) Please note: some borer in shelves

A kitchen dresser, painted pine, Creswick Victoria, circa 1860, showing heavy German design influences, 201 cm high, 112 cm wide, 53 cm deep

A Barossa Valley kitchen dresser, cedar and pine, South Australian origin, circa 1860

A kauri pine kitchen dresser, waterfall top. Provenance: Vasse Hotel Busselton WA.

An Australian Federation kauri pine country kitchen dresser in untouched condition, 210 x 122 x 116 cm

Queensland oak kitchen dresser with 1920s leadlight doors, 111 cm wide, 50 cm deep, 209 cm high

Pine kitchen dresser with 2 doors 2 drawers & Waterfall top

A kauri pine kitchen dresser. Height 206 cm. Width 120 cm. Depth 44 cm

Pine kitchen dresser, 129 cm wide, 63 cm deep, 221 cm high

Vintage pine kitchen dresser with open shelves above 1 drawer and 2 doors, 129 cm wide, 59 cm deep, 211 cm high

South Australian colonial kitchen dresser 158 cm wide, 42 cm deep, 205 cm high

Vintage pine kitchen dresser with open shelves above 2 drawers, 2 slide out shelves and 2 doors, 85 cm wide, 53 cm deep, 208.5 cm high

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

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

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

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

An Australian kitchen dresser, 19th century. 216 cm high, 121 cm wide, 60 cm deep

Large pine farmhouse style kitchen dresser with four doors and three drawers in base and shaped sides in top, 216 cm high x 180 cm wide x 51 cm deep

Australian Colonial pine kitchen dresser with open top shelving above two drawers and two panelled doors

An English oak kitchen dresser with carved doors to the base and two shelves at the top

A large pine kitchen dresser, with a cornice topped inverted waterfall top, the base with a generous surface over 3 drawers and two cupboards each with both gauze and solid panels on a moulded plinth base. Height 234 cm. Width 175 cm. Depth 67 cm

Australian pine kitchen dresser. Large proportions with 3 drawers and 3 sliding doors

A pine kitchen dresser. Width 151 cm. Depth 45 cm. Height 198 cm

A 19th century pine kitchen dresser, the base with two cupboard doors below two drawers with turned knobs, the dresser top with two fixed shelves. Height 196.8 cm. Width 103 cm

Antique Australian pine kitchen dresser. Waterfall front shelves on top, drawers and doors in the base