What do we mean by Antique Treen British Folk Art?

Antique Folk Art refer to pieces made by "country folk" some were made to be admired but many were utilitarian items with an extra feature like a carved heart. Turning an everyday object into something a little more special. A heart conjures up ideas of maybe a wedding present or lovingly made by a father for his daughter. These antique treen items give us an insight into daily lives in rural communities. Image 1 shows an antique oak ditty box for odds and ends. This has a great colour and patina with wire hinges, the feature that lifts this great little box is the stamped Initials E & H and the date 1837. Dated pieces are always a really interesting feature it helps us to date other items

Why are Antique Treen Tinder boxes difficult to find?

Antique treen/ wooden tinder boxes are quite rare ...why? A tinder box was used to store steel, flint and dried tinder, these were needed to start a fire. Steel was held in one hand and was struck by a piece of flint, the sparks that resulted were directed onto dry tinder, which would then hopefully create flames. Wooden tinder boxes hence were not the first choice of material due to the box itself having the potential to catch fire. A few antique treen/wooden tinder boxes were made they were usually rectangular in shape initially dug out from a piece of wood with a sliding lid, slightly later boxes were wall hanging, divided into two unequal sizes compartments. In the larger compartment

Antique Treen Knitting Sheaths - what are they?

An antique knitting sheath was a holder where one end of a needle was placed and then the sheath was tucked into a belt worn around the waist. Some of the knitting sheaths have a diagonal slot in them where apron strings/ribbons could hold them in place. The needle is held in position by the antique knitting sheath and allows one hand to be freed up. A knitting sheath made knitting quicker and enabled people to knit on the move. Antique knitting sheaths were made from many materials wood, metal, straw, ivory and fabric and in a variety of forms from a simple stick to a fish, feather elaborate ones with chains and hooks. Many were made by men as love tokens with verses, hearts and dates on o

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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: