Tunbridge ware is a form of decoratively inlaid woodwork, which is characteristic the spa town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The decoration typically consists of an inlaid mosaic of many small pieces of different coloured woods that are arranged to form a pictorial scene or decorative pattern. This skillful decoration's popularity is thought to originate from the tourism industry and the success of the Tunbridge area as a Spa town, where visitors sought souvenirs to take home with them and this woodwork technique became a fashionable to be used on a variety of memento's. Castles and notable British landmarks were depicted, such as Eridge Castle, Windsor Castle and Shakespeare's birthplace.
This Tunbridge Ware box depicts Battle Abbey in East Sussex and originates from the 19th century
The Tunbridge Wells museum displays an unrivalled collection of Tunbridge Ware and is certainly worth a visit for further information and to see the finest examples of this skillful antique wood ware.
To have your very own piece of British history, take a look at the Tunbridge ware we have new in stock for January 2011. The boxes we have are especially lovely for Valentines gifts, although don't take our word for it, have a look yourself... Graham Smith Antiques Tunbridge Ware
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