Antique Treen Measures
The image above shows a range of antique treen measures, these were used for measuring dry goods such as corn, pulses, seeds etc
There are two different types the ones with the handles are normally beech wood and would have been turned on a pole lathe. The other type on the left hand-side of the image were made by steaming the bent wood and then pinning it.
Often these containers are stamped with the actual measure such as half pint, pint, gallon, peck etc.
From the 18th century it was practise for English antique treen measures to be stamped and verified by an inspector of weights and measures usually with the crown and initials of the reigning sovereign and sometimes a date. This continued up until Edward VII on the turned measures. The inspectors would have brass or bronze local standards test weights to test the wooden measures against. Each county would have their own set of standard test weights.
Flat strikes would be drawn across the tops of measures to avoid compressing the dry ingredients, to ensure the measure was true.
Periodic checking by inspectors was necessary when using wooden measures because wood is hygroscopic and so wooden measures would change their dimensions according to moisture content. Often beech wood was selected as the material used for the measures as it was quite tough. It still needed careful seasoning and still might still shrink. If green wood was used it would soon become a false measure.
Sometimes you see on the well seasoned measures, which lasted longer, two or more stamps from successive monarchs.
For the collector the fun is in looking for the rare and early stamps but these treen measures can also be put to many good uses in the house and look great.
The bentwood measures all have different stamps on them. VR and the crown referring to Queen Victoria, a number underneath signifies the region eg 192 on the half peck comes from Sudbury.
The images show both styles of dry good measures, note the stamp on the ones with handles are VR with a crown for Queen Victoria. it is also stamped SM for South Manchester. All have the same stamps probably from a set There are other stamps on the otherside possibly indicating they were verified twice or that they was from a particularly area of South Manchester.