Antique Treen Stay Busks - what are they?

Corsets were called stays prior to 1830 and antique treen stay busks were flat pieces of wood,( could also be made from horn, ivory, metal, baleen or other materials), which were inserted into long pockets at the front of the stay/corset. Many were undecorated and were purely functional to flatten the stomach of the person wearing it. They must have been fairly uncomfortable - difficult to bend down!

Some antique treen stay busks were carved and were given as a love token in England, similar to the Welsh Lovespoon in Wales. The decorated ones were inserted into small pockets at the top and the bottom of the front of the bodice. That were decorated with geometric patterns, chip carved decoration, hearts. Sometimes there was a message carved or a date on the back of the treen busk.

The first recorded dated one is around 1660 and then there seemed to be a revival of the stay busk about 100 years later. Described by Pinto as being "V

ery Rare"

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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: