Treen & wood

Darning eggs, balls, & mushrooms

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A hundred years ago could anyone imagine that darning tools would now be unrecognisable except to antiques or crafts enthusiasts? There always used to be a steady supply of darning in the family mending bag. A woman sitting darning was a common sight, and so was a darning egg. Inside a stocking or sock with […]

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Butter tubs can be beautiful

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Wooden tubs with fine carving inside the lid were traditional containers for a few pounds of butter in parts of Norway and other Scandinavian countries. Some were beautifully finished on the outside too, and could be used to take butter to festive gatherings and serve it attractively. Because the interior carving gave the top of […]

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Love tokens and betrothal gifts carved from wood

Lithuanian distaff

I keep coming across nicely carved antiques that were made to be useful, while the decoration shows they were designed as courtship, engagement or marriage gifts. The idea of handmade love tokens is still alive today: especially the tradition of carving love spoons. Craftspeople who make them often use longstanding folk art designs that evolved […]

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Medieval and Renaissance combs

17th century comb

The most beautiful combs owned by ladies in late medieval and Renaissance times were highly ornamented in between their two rows of teeth. They look special, and they are. Some of the best were given as love tokens, and the fine, lacy carving included mottos, hearts, dates or initials. Did the young ladies use their […]

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