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Dinnerware, treen

As I mentioned earlier, one of most common ways to introduce ambiance to an event is through feast-ware and candlelight. Doesn't everything look better in candlelight? However, we generally don't spend the entirety of our time in dimly lit rooms, sometimes not even the feast portion of our events. So what are we to do?

Well, there are many little things we can do and sometimes "not obviously modern" is still better than no attempt at all. 
Last night, I grabbed some examples of period looking dinnerware and "not obviously modern" dinnerware
period looking dinnerware

The Dinnerware to the left has a fairly medieval appearance while the dinnerware to the right is at least not overly modern. Actually, some of the items on the right pass very well, while other items such as the bone handled forks are obviously post 1600. 

A very easy to find item that can look very period and won't break the bank is:
Treen: There are many period paintings and examples of things made from wood. This goes from simple square trenchers to fancy turned examples. Spoons were also carved from wood as well as other vessels. Keep an eye out at yard sales and second hand shops, it isn't hard to re-finish treen and often I just wash, rub on some oil and wipe clean. 
When looking for items, or making it yourself, try to stick to simple shapes such as a round plate, dish or square shape carved from one piece of wood. 
Care and use: Do try to wash it as soon as possible and do not let it soak in water as this can cause it to split. 

Dessert Trenchers
A Fun little project that you can make are dessert/fruit trenchers. These are fairly small plates with a functional side and a decorative side. These are most impressive when made up in larger sets and can be lots of fun when riddles and puzzles are included on the decorative side. All you need to do is to cut circles with about a 5" diameter (they can be quite small), smooth it out and finish one side with whatever decoration or scene you wish, some were even apparently cut out and pasted on scenes. These can be purely decorative or represent something such as fables or Rhymes, which can also be lettered on the plate as well. 


Fruit trenchers from a 16th century painting (Netherlands), it also shows what may be bone or wood spoons with round bowls but still very similar in shape to their pewter counterpart. 


round trencher
A set of late 16th century round trenchers at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts


Another set, though square, from the early 17th century at the Metropolitan Museum


While I am unsure if the rectangular versions were used before 1600, the artwork is very similar to that on the round trenchers and there are many examples of rectangular trenchers, in pewter, in paintings before 1600. 



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