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Some Common Welsh Furniture Terms

Coffor (or Coffer) Bach
A Welsh term meaning a small chest or trunk, used to describe a small coffer with a lift-up top revealing open storage space, and single drawer (occasionally two drawers) below. The Coffor Bach was only ever made in Wales, and was a dowry chest or love chest. They were traditionally associated with marriages, and handed down through the female line. Often given to the bride at the time of her marriage, the Coffer Bach would have been used to store her most personal and prized possessions.

18th Century Welsh Oak Coffor Bach

Short version of the Welsh full term, Cwpwrdd Deuddarn, literally meaning a two-part cupboard. An evolution of the two-piece court cupboard, into a style only ever made in Wales. Used as a storage piece in the kitchen, living room and dining room.

18th Century Welsh Oak Deuddarn

Pot Board Dresser
A variation of the Welsh Dresser, from the mid and South Wales, where the base does not have cupboards, but has a low shelf near floor level with open space between this and the drawers above. This shelf was called a pot board as it was used to store pots and pans.

18th Century Oak Welsh Dresser

Short version of the Welsh full term, Cwpwrdd Tridarn, literally meaning a three-part cupboard. The origins of this form are unclear, but it seems likely it was an evolution of the two-piece court cupboard. These tended to be low, and the addition of a third upper tier in the form of a rack to provide display space seems an obvious step. The middle section most often has two cupboard doors either side of a fixed central panel. Tridarns were peculiar to North Wales, and were made from the mid 17th and throughout the 18th century. The level of construction and decoration varied greatly, from plain simple models for the cottage parlour to pieces with extravagant inlay and detailing designed to be the centrepiece of the living room in an important house. Tridarns were often associated with marriages with initials, and sometimes a year, carved into the fixed central panel of the middle section.

18th Century Welsh Oak Tridarn

Welsh Dresser
Although by no means unique to Wales, the term Welsh Dresser is used to describe a two-part piece of furniture generally comprising a base with cupboards and drawers, and a superstructure of shelves called a plate rack. There are variations in design, often attributable to specific regions of Wales. In the classic design the base has two cupboard doors either side of a fixed central panel, with three drawers above.

18th Century Oak Welsh Dresser