S/3090 Antique Treen 19th Century Mauchline Ware Sycamore Spice Box
An extremely fine Mauchline Ware sycamore circular spice box with a shaped rim, containing eight circular pine lidded spice pots, titled: lemon peel, powdered cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and cinnamon flowers. The sides have detailed transfer scenes of Boston and Hunker Hill and Cambridge. The fitted lid, with a knob handle, has a scene of Cambridge with the word Spicebox on the opposite side. mauchline ware scenes were often badly rubbed, as they were transfers, but these are in excellent condition. It has a lovely honey colour and fine patination.
The production of box-work or Mauchline ware took place from the 1820s until 1933 by the firm of W&A Smith. These boxes were extremely collectable. They ranged from the basic transfer as on small vases, with each piece having the view of the place of purchase. These went from Mauchline to the Isle of Wight. Tartan ware was also extremely popular as a result of the smiths inventing a machine for weaving tartan designs on paper. Fernware was instroduced in the 1870s. This involved applying actual ferns to the wood, which was then stippled in dark brown, the ferns removed and the wood varnished. The wood used was sycamore. These products were sent all over the world. A fire in 1933 stopped production, which was never restarted.
Mauchline, located 11 miles inland from the Scottish coastal resort of Ayr, was the center of the Mauchline Ware industry, which at its peak in the 1860s, employed over 400 people in the manufacture of small, but always beautifully made and invariably useful wooden souvenirs and gift ware.
4¾ in. (12 cm.) High
6 in. (15 cm.) Diameter Scottish Circa 1870