Industry, Sobriety, Obedience - treen savings box

I came across this unusual antique Regency oak box and felt it warranted some research.

On the front of the box are the words Industry and Sobriety and the third word possibly says Obedience but it has been rubbed.

Having read a few articles it seems that in Regency Britain people believed that the worst conditions of poverty could be avoided/escaped by sobriety,obedience and hard work. They believed that bad habits and idleness were the root of poverty and that the poor should not spend their money on beer and gin but should be encouraged to save. Many savings banks and friendly societies sprung up, the banks being run by the rich!

This savings box was for six different people,the names George, Eliza, John,Priscilla, William and Stephen are painted on the box, each having their own compartment within the locked antique oak

box. The top opens up to retrieve their individually savings, maybe they were saving the money that they would otherwise have spent on alcohol or maybe they were saving for something else.......!

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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: