Antique Treen Trenchers - evolution of the plate

An antique treen trencher was a flat rectangular/square piece of wood which was indented in the centre to retain the juices from food such as meat, before plates existed. Improved designs had a second smaller cavity for salt. The examples with the small depression for the salt were probably from a wealthy household as salt was expensive in the 1500's. The trenchers acted as small cutting boards when people ate just with their fingers and knives and wear should be seen on both sides. Actually before the wooden treen trenchers, bread was used as a material for a trencher, it was baked and then kept for four days to dry out and then trimmed to shape after use these bread trenchers would have be

Antique Treen Tinder Boxes

A couple of years ago I posted an article on tinder boxes showing images of a heart shaped one. Recently I found a wall hanging oak Tinder Box I thought I would share some images of it. It's early 1800's example made from oak, with the sides made from a lovely curly/burr oak and front with an inlaid pannel. Note the divided interior. Tinder boxes 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 potenti

Antique Treen Coffee Grinders in the 17th and 18th century

The first coffee house was believed to have opened in the UK in Oxford 1651/2 closely followed by one opening in London. Coffee houses began to spring up all over London and in cities around the Uk. They were meeting places for men, women were excluded from these coffee houses and so was alcohol! Men would meet to conduct business, discuss politics, science, poetry and news. Interestingly each coffee house r coffee clubs, these were similar but you paid a subscription fee and has an elected committee, had specific customers e.g. St James Coffee House attracted the Whigs whereas around Covent Gardens the literary and actors tended to go. After about the mid 18th century coffee became popular

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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: