Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs
small wooden objects in daily domestic or farm use and in use in trades and professions. Treen includes a wide variety of objects mostly associated with tableware, the kitchen, games, personal adornment, and toilet articles. The word is never applied to objects larger than a spinning wheel and does not include objects designed primarily for ornament. Etymologically, treen should be confined to wooden objects, but it is sometimes used in reference to utensils made of bone, horn, or ivory. Although the majority of the objects usually described as treen are of a rustic or primitive character, quite sophisticated forms were produced, especially in Italy, where close-grained hardwoods such as box were readily obtainable. The town of Tonbridge in Kent gave its name to a very elaborate type of treen with an intricate mosaic surface of different woods and grains composed in such a way as to make a pattern or, more frequently, picture. Tonbridge ware was especially popular in the 19th century for needle cases and similar accessories and was imitated extensively.