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 unusual 18th century style continental walnut dresser base, early 19th century, embellished with fine carving and parquetry to the frieze, 87 cm high, 248 cm wide, 67 cm deep

A 19th century French fruit wood dresser base, the well figured top with rounded edge above three short frieze drawers with cut-brass shaped back-plate swing handles, raised on cabriole legs with paw feet, open base, good colour and polish. 185.5 cm x 65 c

A 19th century pine country dresser base, the plain two-plank top with clenched ends, three frieze drawers and well-proportioned tapering square section legs. 182 cm x 54 cm x 74 cm

A pine dresser base, with plank top above two half drawers standing on square section legs, c. 1,800. Width 137 cm depth 55 cm, height 74 cm

A Georgian oak low dresser, circa 1700, 80 cm high, 156 cm wide, 44 cm deep

A small provincial elm dresser base and plate rack, English, first half of the 19th century, 72 cm high, 130 cm wide, 40 cm deep

A fine early Georgian oak dresser base. Early 18th century. The long narrow dresser with a fine mellow patina and light coloration, with peg joins, a square edged top above three drawers with mitred thread moulding, later pierced brass backplates and swing

An oak dresser base, English, 18th century, 84 cm high, 150 cm wide, 64 cm deep. Provenance: Property of a Gentleman, Melbourne

A carved oak two drawer low dresser, English late 17th century, 75 cm high, 130 wide, 39 cm deep

An oak three drawer low dresser, English early 18th century, 76 cm high, 209 cm wide, 49 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 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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early pine 12 drawer shop counter/dresser base, 292 x 64 x 95 cm high

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 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 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 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

An 18th century oak dresser base with three frieze drawers, below a pot rack flanked by pair of doors on block feet. Provenance: Joshua McLennan Galleries. Width 44 cm. Length 175 cm. Height 79 cm

A fine English oak dresser base with three deep drawers on bulbous supports with stretchers. 162 cm. X 55 cm. X 66 cm

An 18th century oak dresser base, with restorations 88 x 165 x 48 cm with three drawers and two doors

A fruitwood three drawer low dresser, French early 19th century 82 x 202x xx 55 cm

An early 18th century oak dresser base the panelled rectangular top above a moulded edge and three drawers, the central one later, over a central shaped apron and raised on cabriole legs with pad feet, restorations. Width 162 cm. Depth 54 cm. Height 83 cm