Antique Painted Tunbridge Ware

Tunbridge Wells was a destination for people to visit the spa waters which were considered to be good for your health.

Souvenir items began to emerge as early as the 17th century and an array of painted Tunbridge Ware was produced in the late 18th/ early 19th century for visitors to buy.

These items were mainly made from whitewood such as sycamore and were usually painted with lines in red, black, green, yellow to the main body with transfer prints, often of Brighton scenes to the lids of the boxes, pannier baskets, nutmeg graters etc.

The Main Image

The image of the small box with the sliding lid with a red and black cottage on it. It also has a motto on it "for your conftant friend'. Note the old use of the letter f in place of s.

The small pannier basket has a pin hinge and picture of a cottage on the lid.

The stacking boxes were a toy, having sixteen progressively smaller boxes inside the outer one with each one having a slightly different painted lid with concentric circles.

The bottom row has a painted pin cushion with wavy/ wriggle work decoration and there is a small trinket box with a picture of a lady to the lid.

Various other painted Tunbridge Ware items can be found from sewing clamps, ink wells and penners to spice towers, thimbles, and pin cushions.

All items in the main image will be for sale on my web site soon.

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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: