The word treen comes from the word tree, it literally means "of a tree'. Today antique treen should strictly be used to describe small wooden objects turned from one piece of wood, for example a bowl or a beaker although the term is used commonly to describe any small wooden item - of which there are many!!
As wood was widely available to everyone many of our every day items were made from an array of woods, each precious piece had a function as well as looking lovely. Often the wood choosen was for a particular reason. Bowls, plates, spoons, forks, goblets, salts and muffineers were all made from wood, commonly sycamore which was not suppose to taint food, likewise butter stamps, rollers, moulds and spice containers were also often made from sycamore too.
Antique nutcrackers were often made from box wood or yew which was good for carving and was more resistant to cracking.
But antique treen doesn't stop at kitchen items, beautiful antique wooden items can be found from a variety of interests and professions, pounce pots which held a powder to stop ink smudging, before blotting paper, to needle cases and pin cushions made from wood in a variety of shapes like umbrellas, or wheelbarrows. Wine slopes and cheese coasters in mahogany to dress the wealthy dining tables to mouse traps and parlour games all of these a collectors field in their own right.
I have mentioned just a few items here but there are so many more, snuff boxes, apprentice pieces, lovespoons, combs, candlesticks I could go on and on. Suffice to say that these fabulous small treen pieces are part of our social history and should be loved and cherished and used. There is nothing better than having a customer buy an antique candle box to put their candles, a solitaire board to play or a cotton reel stand to use for sewing.
Have a look at the images of just some of the treen items still put to good use or just to be treasured, owning a piece of history.