Collecting Antique String Boxes

Antique treen string boxes were made in various shapes and sizes. In the 19th century no shop counter would be complete without a large string box. The most common during the second half of the 19th century were the lignum vitae string boxes similar to the one in image 1, they were approx 8cm high and some had cutter blades on the knop. This was in the days when goods purchased were wrapped in brown paper and tied with string!!!!

There are however many more antique string box shapes to find and collect, barrels, bee hives, eggs, acorns etc, I have shown a few in the images below. Usually the string is stored inside the box which has a screw top lid and a hole in the lid for the string. Some have cutters.

Although lignum vitae was the most common wood used as it was a very hard heavy wood and not prone to damage from heavy handed people, a variety of woods were used, box wood, laburnum and yew to name a few.

Not only do antique treen string boxes make a useful container to store string in but they make a great display when you have a few different shapes.

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