Antique 18th Century Treen Tinder Boxes

Antique wooden tinder boxes from the 18th century are not that easy to find.

Metal and the metal canister type were the preferred material in the 18th century. The brass canisters had a candle socket on the lid and storage of the flint, steel etc inside.

The function of the 18th century tinder box was to store a piece of steel,flint and dried tinder, the items needed to start a fire. Steel was held in one hand and was struck by a piece of flint. The sparks that resulted were directed onto dry tinder or pieces of fabric, which would then hopefully create flames. Wooden tinder boxes hence were not the first choice of material due to the box itself having the potential to catch fire.

Antique Treen tinder boxes were usually rectangular in shape, having a divided interior, one for the storage of steel, flint and the other known as the"hearth" for creating the spark in. This section often has a build up of carbon in it.

We currently have two examples in stock - a rare occurrence!

The first images 1-4, a lovely 18th century antique tinder box made from oak wood, the divided interior with a piece of flint, an old steel. Chamfered lid which slides open to a divided interior showing signs of carbonisation. Price £425

The second, images 5-10, is a small late 18th century oak tinder box with sliding lid. Interior shows a build up of carbon in one of the compartments which shows it was put to good use.

It measures 27cm h x 10.4cm w x 6cm d. C1780. Price £395

Good colour and patina

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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: