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An antique woodenware adventure

The wonders of wood are often overlooked when faced with the shine of metals and the durable ease of plastics. But wood is durable and strong, warm and soft to the touch, easily painted and, when properly polished, can shine like glass. Antique woodenware wears with age to reveal new depth of colour. No matter what antique decorative art item you are looking for, the selection on eBay will leave you spoilt for choice.

That's a treen you're seeing

The beauty of hunting through the world of wooden antiques is discovering handcrafted objects you're unlikely to find being made today. A beautifully turned, hand-carved little dice throwing treen is perfect for the board game player in your life. Treens are literally, ‘of the tree' and the generic name for small handmade wooden objects that pre-date the introduction of cheaper materials such as metals and plastics following industrialisation.

Almost anything can be classified as a treen, the most ubiquitous objects such as a tray or bowl, or carved wooden snuff box, even spoons and shoe horns are classed as treens. Many wooden objects do not fare well with age, so if you come across an original beauty in good condition, be sure to snap it up if it takes your fancy.

Wooden antique pieces also lend themselves to being displayed like sculpture, even with little decoration, a polished burl bowl makes an eye-catching addition to your interiors without needing to worry about how it will blend with your other styles and colours.

Wood was also used for much early industrial storage units and nowadays make excellent contemporary storage. Look for vintage printing and letterpress trays, ideal for displaying trinkets and treens.

For a statement piece, go with some Chinese antique woodenware in a variety of stylish designs. These pieces range from hand-carved mirrors to small lacquered jewellery boxes.

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