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S/4861 Antique Treen 19th Century Mauchline Ware Sycamore Spice Box

A fine early 19th century Mauchline ware spice box, having a cylindrical box with a serpentine edged rim and inset domed lid surmounted by a knop handle, decorated with scenic panels depicting, 'Ferry Bowness' and 'Tower of Refuge' to the sides with a further view of Tower of Refuge to the lid and labelled 'Spicebox'. The interior, housing the seven original lidded cylindrical boxes, labelled 'Pdrd Cinnamon', 'Cloves', 'Ginger', 'Pepper', 'Cinnamon', 'Mace', ''Nutmeg' and 'Lemon Peel'.

The production of box work or Mauchline ware took place from the 1820's 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 introduced 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.

5 in. (12.5 cm.) High
6 in. (17 cm.) Diameter Scottish Circa 1870