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.