An Antique Rushlight Box

It's not every day you find a rushlight box in fact there are very few around, particularly ones in mahogany.

Rushlights were mainly used for lighting in humble cottages where candles even made from animal tallow were too expensive.

Rushes were picked, soaked in water and the outer layers peeled away. The inner pithy centre was dipped in kitchen grease and then left to dry resting on bark or similar. These rushes were then stored in bundles, occasionally in an antique treen box which would hang on the wall

When used the rushes would be clipped into the jaws (like pliers) of a table or floor standing rushlight holder and lit from one or both ends.

Since rushlights used to be known as 'the poor man's lighting' to have a box made for storing these rushes was not common.

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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: