An antique treen mealey beg or lidded butter bowl. This is a lovely example with a good colour and patina. The lid has carved initials J E. There is an incised line decoration to the top.
It measures 11cm w x 5.5cm h.
An antique treen Mealey Beg is another name for a two piece butter bowl Usually these Mealey Begs are turned from sycamore which was a wood used widely through the dairy industry as it did not taint food and was supposed to have antibacterial properties.
A Mealey Beg consists of a butter bowl and lid and was used for a variety of functions. It was used to take samples of butter to market Also it was used for storing butter by fishermen and shepherds whilst they were away for long periods of time. These antique treen Mealey Begs, according to Edward Pinto's book on Treen and Other Wooden Bygones, were buried in the ground in peat or covered with stones to keep the butter cool when the shepherds were up in the high pasture land in the Summer for several weeks at a time.