Antique English Painted Welsh Dresser Hutch Cupboard from Bath England circa 1850
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17.50" w x 85.50" d x 94.00" h
44.45cm w x 217.17cm d x 238.76cm h
A painted open back antique English Welsh dresser circa 1850. This Welsh dresser originally was placed in the basement of a country house close to the city of Bath in southwestern England. Because the dresser was placed against a brick wall the upper plate rack was left open instead of being faced with wood. A dresser like this was used daily both for the storage and display of vessels in the upper rack as well as the storage of cutlery and serving utensils in the three drawers and larger serving pieces behind the three lower cabinet doors. Each of the large drawers are opened with a pull while the cabinet doors are secured by a turn latch and knob pull. While the drawer fronts are flat each of the cabinet doors contain fielded panels whose angular quality adds to the visual interest of the base. The upper plate rack stands on the lower cabinet base and is distinguished by the stepped arrangement of the shelves with the lower shelf being less deep than the upper shelf. This enables pitchers and vessels with a greater circumference to be placed at a higher level while smaller items sit on the top of the dresser base or the first shelf. To facilitate the display and security of platters and plates there is also a deep groove close to the rear edge on al three levels so flat dishes have a slight lean to them against the wall where the dresser is placed. Although this type of furniture appears in many cultures across Europe the term "Welsh dresser" has become synonomous with any cabinet piece that has a display section with open shelving above a cabinet or open base because of the enormous variety and consummate skill which Welsh cabinet makers brought to the form in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.