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 oak Welsh dresser, circa 1780, 199 cm high, 155 cm wide, 43 cm deep

An English 18th century oak and elm welsh dresser having cupboards below, three central drawers and a plate rack above. 195 cm high, 144 cm wide, 39 cm deep.

Early 18th century oak Welsh dresser moulded cornice, four plate shelves the base with three geometric panel drawers, baluster legs joined by plain stretchers (later back panels)

Early/mid Georgian oak Welsh dresser of traditional form with three shelf plate rack back, the base with three frieze drawers, three central drawers flanked by cupboards on block feet

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

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

Antique English oak Welsh dresser, three drawer base with carved arched open top, approx 198 cm high, 200 cm wide

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

A good 19th century pine Welsh dresser, the open top flanked by two long cupboards, above eight small drawers above six drawers supported by tuned columns on open shelf base

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

Exceptional 18th century oak Welsh dresser of good proportions, fitted with inlaid escutcheons and brass hardware

An impressive oak bacon dresser of unusual form, Welsh, circa 1780 220 cm high, 146 cm wide, 60 cm deep

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

A good Georgian oak and mahogany cross-banded Welsh dresser, circa 1780 214 x 215 cm

18th century oak Welsh dresser with later plate rack top, base with three raised panel drawers on turned slightly tapering legs

A good George III oak Welsh dresser mid 18th century 198 x 145 x 44 cm with cupboard doors and drawers and a three tier plate rack. Base. Height 88 cm

19th century English oak Welsh style dresser with mirror back and glazed doors to the top section

A Welsh oak dresser base, 17th century and later, the rectangular top above a frieze with three panelled drawers, brass handles, shaped apron and flat baluster legs on a stretcher base, 196 cm wide, 47 cm deep, 79 cm high