Monday 2 July 2018

A very special wooden box indeed.

My favourite finds are things
that have enormous history 
and that can be a box such as this
or indeed history within layers of fabrics.

Well after a few days off in this gorgeous Summer we are having I am trying to return to work, which
in this heat is not easy at all.  The needle work side is very difficult in this heat with the needle slipping through my fingers and I have more needle holes in my tips of fingers than anything at this moment in time..... So my days are shortened some what at the moment and I do not seem to be getting anywhere fast in the slow stitch department.

Anyway do you all remember that gorgeous wooden box I found at Eridge, you may remember that the lady I bought it from said that she had bought it from someone in the Netherlands and she had purchased it in America.  Neither knew much about it but we all knew it was special.

Whilst not stitching I had a clean up of this gorgeous box as you may well see from the photo and I have done some digging into it.  Well actually I put out a 'do any of you know' plea in my lovely pen pal group.  We are from all over the world and so I thought someone somewhere may know something and I was right.  A lovely friend called Emma who actually lives in Texas found a site with them on and on pinterest.  Then another friend Ipie from the Netherlands found another page on them being made these days again....

This gorgeous box is Norwegian and is a 'tine' box pronounced 'teen-ah' and is constructed of steam
bent wood that has been laced together by tree roots which are normally from the Birch tree.

The sides have two vertical posts cut with notches that are used to hold the lid in place securely - it makes a snapping sound when being closed.  So occasionally they are referred to as 'snap boxes'.
To open the 'tine' the side posts are gently pulled apart using the flex in the wood until the lid is freed and then you are able to lift it off.

The decoration of these outstandingly beautiful boxes differs with some being left plain or indeed decorated with patterns made with hot poker work.  Some are decorated with Rose Mailing a very colourful and graphic form of painting and differ from region to region within Norway.  Some styles are very floral or organic paintings and each characterised by colours and themes.

The one that I am lucky enough to have found at Eridge Brocante has been left in its natural wood colour and poker work and a little varnish.  Some of them are lucky enough to have a date carved into them, alas mine does not as I have searched and searched.  In addition most of these beautiful wood boxes originate from the Bergen region of Norway.

There is evidence that suggests that these boxes were widely available to buy by emigrant's who purchased them before boarding on the boats to the New World, where they served as not only reminders of the Old Country but also they were used to store precious goods inside and that could be anything from keepsakes to meat, coffee or flour.

This explains an awful lot to me as I told you the person I bought it from had bought it from a lady who had actually bought it in America.

Thus the confusion of who made it in the beginning as we bantered around it being made by the Shakers as the actual shape of it screamed out to me that it could be ( in fact the tine box was made centuries before The Shakers made theirs, as evidence has been found of them back in 850 A.D on a discovered viking boat remains)...

Then we talked about it possibly being made by the Amish ( all this because of the American connection) but that was soon discounted because of the details in the decoration.  The Amish do not go much on frills and spills but just plain and simple..

I do know that mine was made around 1850's to 1860's so there is oodles of history contained within it.  I have been wondering who made it and who bought it just before boarding the ship to America.  What did it carry inside it on its long journey across the ocean.  Then how on earth did a family member give it up and it end up in a vintage shop in America for that lady to purchase .... Although I am so pleased that it happened as I had never seen one before, I did not know of its existence and I now am the proud owner of something extremely special and beautiful indeed.

I hope you have enjoyed this little walk through Norwegian history with me as much as I have enjoyed finding out about it with the help of two of my dear pen friends.

On other matters I have still not found that journal and I am now quiet convinced somehow it got thrown out which I am so upset about as I will never get those memories back again from last years
holiday in America.

A brighter note is that my Miss Muddy Beak has come back and I feel it is that she comes feeding at
dawn ( which is now around 4am at the moment) and she does not like the hot weather.  If I am up very very early I see her...

 I feel this hot weather has got a bit too much for all our birds and the amount of times I fill up the bird baths from them drinking and them just sitting in there and splashing around to get cool.  Even a very friendly seagull comes on a regular basis now.  Hops on and has a long cool drink and then crams  itself in the stone bird bath and sits in the cold water.  When I am out there sat at the table in the cool of the shade of the umbrella and I laugh at the sight - it turns its head at me as much as to say 'WHAT' ....

Well that is it for me today and I hope you have enjoyed the read.  I know everyone is not in reading blogs in this gorgeous weather but I am trying to get some to you this week for those who like to have an early morning read with their first cup of coffee or tea of the day...

We had a wonderful weekend and attended the Summer Brocante in West Sussex so tomorrow I will bring you a little taster of this lovely event held in gorgeous weather and in the beautiful grounds of Cowdray Estate.

I hope to see you back here again tomorrow morning and in the meantime........
Happy Stitching! XX  (if you can manage any)...


  1. You could always ask at the American Museum Bath about the box, they may be able to help too. It s gorgeous box and must have lots of memories about it.

    Glad Mrs Muddy Beak has returned. My garden is so parched it must be difficult for the birds to find any insects. It did rain in y part of the world yesterday though

    Julie xxxxxxx

    1. Morning Julie

      We have had no rain but our garden is watered every day .. I do feed the birds and make sure their water is topped up throughout the day. Still the grass is not as green though.
      My Norwegian box is now clean and I know it’s travelled a very long way in its lifetime. Norway to America by ship. Probably around America a little, then back to I believe the Netherlands and then finally to England. Now clean and very much loved! 💕
      I could see if the museum knows more about these Norwegian boxes though, what a great idea.
      Hope you are both ok ..

      Sarah xxxxxxxx

    2. A fascinating and mysterious treasure. I'm sure that you will uncover some more of its history over time.
      Dear Miss Muddy Beak....truly the early bird.
      'For there is nothing lost, that may be found if sought' Spenser.
      I'm sure your journal will turn up, I have a feeling! It's probably in the Bermuda Triangle with my French seed packets! Lol

    3. Morning Dawn
      Lol .. of course my journal would love French seed packets, they have gone for a summer break together!!!
      I have had an idea where else to look .. fingers crossed! Miss Muddy came home and that’s the most important thing...
      Have a wonderful day ...

      Sarah xxx

  2. So interesting! Thank You! We are having the heat here too!

    1. Hello Marlynne
      I am so pleased you enjoyed the read. It was an interesting thing to find out about and a little change from trying to stitch with a needle slipping through my fingers!
      It is hot everywhere I think but I hope you can find some shade somewhere and enjoy this summer.

      Sarah xx