book with wood cover Mauchline Ware

Book With Wood Cover

Mauchline Ware Wood Book Covers and Small Wooden Items

book with wood cover Mauchline Ware

Book with wood covers actually has a name, Mauchline (Moch’lin) Ware.

In your question you indicated that you found this wonderful book among items that belonged to your uncle and were wondering if the covers were made of real wood and any other information I could give you on the vintage book. You also stated that a stamp on the front cover says “Made from the Wood on Flodden Field”.

To answer your first question, yes the covers of your book are made from real wood more than likely sycamore.

This type of item is called “Mauchline Ware” and it is common to find a wide variety of items crafted in this manner with transfer decals showing places of interest in the area or, in the case of your wood book covers, scenes from the battle on Flodden Field. You don’t always see the text showing where the wood came from.

The technique originated in Mauchline Scotland and were popular souvenir pieces from the mid-1800s to 1933 when the last factory burned down. Noted manufacturers of Mauchline Ware were W & A Smith and A & R Robbs of Coldstream. The vast majority of items made were well crafted, useful and small but you do find the beautiful book covers and large items.

Not every wood box or item made of wood is considered to be Mauchline Ware, the historic transfers, the location the piece was made and manufacturers are key to determining whether or not you have an authentic Mauchline item. Once you get in to the early teens through 1933 you see fewer transfers used and start to see a variety of decorations used on the wooden ware items. Yet it still comes back to location, location, location of manufacture.

The advent of photography in the late part of the 19th century swayed many of the Mauchline Ware manufacturers away from working with the time consuming transfers and began using the more realistic and easier to produce photographic decorative elements.

I don’t see much of this in the Midwest and when I do a book such as yours comes at a premium price. A few weeks ago I saw one in a great antique shop for $350 but it was also made by one of the better known companies. Smaller items such as sewing needle holders bring far less, around $30. If you happen upon glove stretchers with the J.P. Coates or other advertising piece the price will climb up depending upon the item and condition.

 

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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  1. i have a copy of Lowell’s Poems cerca 1893 with a wooden cover….is there anyway to find out what it is worth?

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