A rare mid 18th century oak tinder box with sliding lid and two compartments to the interior. Note the smaller one is all carbonised. C1750/60
This one measures 31cm h x 14cm w x 8cm d.
Tinder boxes were 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 flint, steel, tinder and sulphur matches were stored and in the smaller compartment known as the hearth the spark was kindled. Sometimes there is a small lid for the hearth which was used to put out any glowing tinder,. They were often stored near the kitchen hearth to keep the contents dry, many are found scorched from the fire or from spark production.