Wednesday, 17 October 2012


This large and handsome piece of furniture is an Irish Regency pine housekeeper's cupboard for storing the linen of a large household.  Sheets, pillow cases, table cloths, napkins, could all be neatly stacked on the narrow shelves and good ventilation for when the cupboard was locked was provided by the ornamental mesh covered holes.  There are two keys and normally the linen would be kept under lock and key by the housekeeper who kept the keys for all storage cupboards on her chatelaine key ring attached to her waist.  Linen was valuable and could be 'borrowed' and stolen by dishonest servants.  The housekeeper would dole out the required sheets and other linens  to the housemaids  who made the beds and  helped to lay the tables and she kept hand-written lists of the contents pinned to the cupboard doors as well as lists for the house laundry.   When the housework was done, the maids used to go to the housekeepers room and repair and sew some of the laundry items, so they were never allowed to be idle.
  I have used this cupboard for over 25 years (in two different homes) and I must have sold many hundreds of sheets, tablecloths, napkins and tea towels to my customers.  It was a great place to display them and keep the piles tidy.  Now, alas! its usefulness is gone and the room where I have it is to become a spare room and a large double bed will replace the cupboard so my linen cupboard must move on;  it is for sale and will move in two parts.  Price on application to E.Baer at

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