Little Pots of Treasure - Antique Treen Pounce Pots

I am frequently asked what a pounce pot is for, these pots were used to store pounce which was a fine ground powder made initially from either crushed bones of cuttlefish, pumice or a gum sandarac resin., later sandstone or talc was used. Often these small pots are referred to as sanders the contents being the consistancy of sand. The tops of these antique treen pounce pots were saucer shaped and perforated, allowing the contents to be shaken gently over the surface of writing paper which had two functions, to smooth the paper or parchment which could have a greasy finish, rubbing pounce into the surface helped this so that the ink would not bleed. Secondly it was sprinked over the ink to absorb any excess hence speeding up the drying time.- this was before blotting paper.

The small holes in the top of these pounce pots only allowed a small amount to be shaken and hence prevented the pounce from clogging up the nibs of pens.

The saucer shaped tops were to enable the paper to be cupped and any precious pounce to be poured back into the pots via the top.

Antique pounce pots are great to collect, made in a variety of shapes and

materials from silver, pewter, bone to good old wood. Even within wood you will find a number of woods used usually boxwood or lignum vitae.

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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: