Treen, treen glorious antique treen

The word treen comes from the word tree, it literally means "of a tree'. Today antique treen should strictly be used to describe small wooden objects turned from one piece of wood, for example a bowl or a beaker although the term is used commonly to describe any small wooden item - of which there are many!! As wood was widely available to everyone many of our every day items were made from an array of woods, each precious piece had a function as well as looking lovely. Often the wood choosen was for a particular reason. Bowls, plates, spoons, forks, goblets, salts and muffineers were all made from wood, commonly sycamore which was not suppose to taint food, likewise butter stamps, rollers,

Antique Treen Candle Stools or Dresser Stools?

Have you ever seen a small antique stool with turned legs, too small to sit on or put your feet on and wonder what it was used for? These small stools are often described as antique candle stools and measure in the region of approx 13cm w x 10cm h. As far as I can tell they were never made for commercial resell but were made from small pieces of wood perhaps left over when making a Windsor chair. To describe them as candle stools is interesting but I have never seen one with a scorch mark so more likely they were intended to sit on top of a dresser and maybe to place an ornament on top. These small antique treen stools were made from whatever wood was available so often you will see diffe

Antique Candle Boxes

No two antique candle boxes are the same, differing in size, timbers, inlay, shape of the backboards, secret drawers, side openings etc! They were originally made to protect precious candles from being eaten by rats, mice and other vermin up until the early 1800's. This was necessary as candles in the main were made from animal based tallow ( from sheep and cattle), unless you were wealthy where you would have beeswax ones, and so the animal fat odour even when not alight would have attracted these vermin, therefore these candle boxes were made to keep their supplies of candles safe. They were usually hung on the wall vertically. These lovely antique boxes were made in a variety of woods

Antique Spice Towers - look closely at the labels!

In a previous blog on spice towers I mentioned that when antique spice towers were bought they would have been blank, with no labels. Depending on what spices were used in the household depended on what labels were used. The image of the four tier antique spice tower shows this with it having two labels for cinnamon, obviously a favourite in that particular house, If you would like to read more on spice towers check out the blog titled six, five, four. link!SIXFIVEFOURTHREE/hptjl/56a78afa0cf215a9bb98ba91

Little Pots of Treasure - Antique Treen Pounce Pots

I am frequently asked what a pounce pot is for, these pots were used to store pounce which was a fine ground powder made initially from either crushed bones of cuttlefish, pumice or a gum sandarac resin., later sandstone or talc was used. Often these small pots are referred to as sanders the contents being the consistancy of sand. The tops of these antique treen pounce pots were saucer shaped and perforated, allowing the contents to be shaken gently over the surface of writing paper which had two functions, to smooth the paper or parchment which could have a greasy finish, rubbing pounce into the surface helped this so that the ink would not bleed. Secondly it was sprinked over the ink to

Antique Treen Boxes

What a diverse area Antique treen boxes cover! The modern definition of a box is a container with a flat base, sides typically square or rectangle and having a lid, but that does not begin to describe the range of fabulous antique boxes that can be found. Firstly the diversity that exist from sewing or work boxes these can be a collecting field in their own right from the early painted whitewood Tunbridge Ware boxes to the rosewood ones inlaid with mother of pearl and ivory, to the humble housekeepers box simply made with a sliding lid from elm, oak etc but because they have been handled and used so much can build up a fantastic patina. Exquisite snuff boxes these antique treen items exist i

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We first became involved in Antique Treen and furniture some twenty five years ago and since then a passion for Treen, small wooden snuff boxes and decorative wooden items has developed into Opus Antiques.

This web site shows only a  small selection of our current stock for sale, if you are looking for something you don't see, please contact us.


We are also interested in buying Antique Treen items. As well as using our Contact page, you can also email or telephone us on 07941 285532


The word Treen is derived from the word tree and is a term used to describe wooden household objects, all turned from one piece of wood e.g. a bowl, plate, gingerbread mould, and spoons, always having a function.

Nowadays when we talk about Antique Treen it tends to cover all small wooden items including antique snuff boxes, candle stands, spice towers, etc. often made from several pieces of turned wood.


When a piece of wood has been painstakingly turned or carved, handled, polished and loved over a few hundred years old, it can develop a wonderful colour and patina and becomes an irresistible piece of Antique Treen.

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  • Opus Antiques, Devon, UK
  • Opus Antiques, Devon, UK
  • Opus Antiques, Devon, UK

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Address: Bath, Somerset       Contact Telephone: 07941 285532       Email: