Treen collection in North Yorkshire sale

A collection of treen and metalware, put together over many years by collectors David and Hilary Hide, will be sold in the Country House Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on May 18 in North Yorkshire.

The Hides, who lived in the North of England, had a fascination for British vernacular objects and developed a deep knowledge of their subject. Not only did they appreciate these pleasingly tactile wooden and metal objects for their aesthetic qualities and their craftsmanship, but the hidden histories they represented, and insights into long forgotten aspects everyday domestic life for which they were used.  

A group of antique treen string boxes

The majority of the collection dates from the 19th century, with a few earlier examples dating from the 18th century. The Hides collected from auctioneers and dealers, focusing on the North of England, especially the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District and Northumberland, as well as the Cotswolds. Aware that such items rarely came with provenance, they chose to buy objects close to where they were made.  

The Hides shared their enthusiasm, but each had their own speciality, with David becoming an expert on domestic ironwork and Hilary on ‘pre-plastic’ kitchen and household items. In particular, she loved small insignificant items such as clothes pegs, which were rarely kept and saved.  

An antique group of George III Mahogany Cats treen

The extensive collection will be sold in fifty lots. Highlights of the collection include an 18th-century treen lignum vitae mortar with similar hardwood pestle, estimated at £300-500; a pair of George III carved and turned mahogany candlesticks sold with a pair of olive wood Brighton bun travelling candlesticks, estimated at £150-250; and a group of three George III mahogany cats or plate stands with an estimate of £100-150.

An antique treen pestle and mortar

Also of interest are a group of three mid-19th century toleware spice boxes, estimated at £80-120, and a group of lignum vitae treen string boxes from the 19th Century with an estimate of £100-150.  

Further fascinating objects include rope and sailmaker’s tools, pastry jiggers, apple corers, lace crimpers, and glove stretchers. Much of the collection is currently on display in Tennants’ Garden Rooms gallery in Leyburn.