What is an Antique Treen Searce?

Two to three hundred years ago people didn't have the tools that we have today and yet they still seemed to be able to make items for such a diverse range of uses for example a searce. Searce means to sift and these items were made and used to sift powder, mainly in apothecaries, before making it into a paste for pills.

An antique treen searce consists of a semi circular bowl to the top this should have a metal perforated sheet in its central lower section which will let the sieved powder to pass through to the base. The base is hollow it unscrews and the powder can be retrieved.

These antique treen searces are particularly rare to find. The main image is of and early to mid 1700's lignum vitae searce retaining its wire mesh and measuring approx 6cm h x 10cm w.

The other searce is later dating from the latter part of the 18th century to early 19th century note the nicely shaped edges. These pieces of treen are exceptionally hard to find.

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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:  sally.honey@icloud.com