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WALNUT TREES : classified as Juglans, the seeds known as walnuts, the leaves 7" - 35" long, each with 5 - 25 leaflets.

The common name is walnut, from Old English, meaning wealhhnutu (foreign nut) - wealh meaning foreign, as the tree was introduced into the British Isles from Gaul and Italy.  The harder varieties of walnut trees grow from 20' - 130' in the temperate

zones of Great Britain, Europe and North America.


However...if you live in a temperate zone and have a walnut tree in your yard, in August you might also describe them with Chaucer-like "vernacular"!  They begin early to drop those yellow 7" - 35" leaves with 5 - 25 toxic leaflets all over your otherwise pristine green grass, only to be followed by these acid-green golf to tennis ball sized nuts everywhere that break

open and stain all they touch - hands, clothing, furniture... You can't even mow the grass without raking them first. 

I know -- I had two. And I moved!


Despite the mess, these trees have been revered for centuries - not just for the gnarled tender fruit of the nut - so wonderful when sugared at Christmas.  The real prize is the timber. Walnut produces a tight-grained dense wood that creates absolutely unequaled furniture.  In fact an entire period in the late 17th and early 18th century is named "The Age of Walnut"

One has only to eye the rich grain - either straight-grained or with an irresistible patterned "burr" - to gain the addiction. 

If you are not a furniture aficionado, then think wooden (or imitation wooden) car dashboards : burr walnut -

as you rake the yard and trip over the fruits.




A dear friend actually revered walnut so much that his password for everything was "walnut". 

He even wished his ashes spread beneath the walnut tress of an island in Great Britain. 


Apparently, many have shared the passion, replicating the fruit and perfecting the furniture in all manners to delight the senses. 

Here is just a small sampling of those tributes to the walnuts.  Although this message is more about their seasonal trashy habits, more will come later about the wonders of early walnut furniture




 South Staffordshire Enamel on Copper Walnut-Form Bonbonniere

England, c1765

Modeled and painted as a dimensional tan walnut with brown veining,

opening to a shaped speckled gray interior

1-5/8" High x 2 Long


Bonbonnieres date back more than 300 years, being introduced into Scotland by the time Mary Queen of Scots, an extension of the interchange between France and Scotland around 1600. Amongst wealthy aristocrats, small boxes of sweets - each holding only a few confections - were given to celebrate birthdays, christenings, and marriages.  The earliest sweets would have been dry and rather hard confections known as "comfits" (sugared nuts, cloves and seeds) and diamond form sugar "lozenges".  In the 17th and 18th centuries, sugar was quite costly - even its shipment having to come by boat from the faraway Caribbean islands.  Thus so were the containers costly - sometimes made of gold, precious stones, crystals, or porcelain.  

Actually, even owning a bonbonniere indicated a person as one of wealth.




Queen Anne / George I Walnut & Burr Walnut Veneered Sidechair

 England c1715, of quite generous proportions

41.5" H x 23" x 23"


This is an especially large chair for the period, with quite fine burr walnut veneers.  In addition, the splat is sided by well carved paperscrolls, shown in the closeup above.  It is illustrated for comparison on the detail page with a chair of more usual 1715 proportions. However, a photograph still cannot fully demonstrate its grandeur. Please note also the strong cyma curve to the splat and shell-carved knees. The color and patination are exceptional. 

Please click the image or title for additional images.




  George IV Silver Walnut-Form Vinaigrette

Birmingham, 1825-6, makers mark scratched from lid closure

The exterior a fluted walnut form, chased with scrolling foliage and shells, opening to a gilt interior with a hinged floral and foliate pierced grill; the George IV profile and Birmingham clearly visible

1-5/6" Long / 0.9 oz.


Most vinaigrettes and nutmeg graters of "fruit" or "walnut" form date from the Victorian period forward.  They are quite coveted by collectors.   Recently one Victorian walnut nutmeg graters and two Victorian strawberry form vinaigrettes sold at Woolley-Wallis in Salisbury for a stunning amount, exhibiting their desirability in the collecting world.  

Our price is far kinder, and dating from the late Georgian period. 

Please do inquire.




George I Walnut & Parcel-Gilt Looking Glass

England, c1720

with Original Mirror Plate

49" High x 17.75" Overall


The arched veneered shaped crest centering a parcel gilt fleur-de-lys and shell appliqué sided by extending leaves repeating

the shape of the original beveled mirror plate within a rocaille-carved gilt slip and molded walnut-veneered frame. The linked

page illustrates the back and minor foxing of the plate.  The gilt is also original with excellent patination. 

The majority of mirrors of this type have lost not only their original glass, but the shaped crest. 

This mirror was vetted for authenticity by David H. Wilson, Teaneck NJ.



Please click above images or titles for detail pages

"Walnut Leaves and Fruit" (Top Image) Courtesy of Hal Mitzenmacher






As usual, please email or call for prices.  I enjoy hearing from you, no matter the reason.


Millicent Ford Creech


901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)



Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

Complimentary Gift Wrapping


mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com



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"August... & Walnuts!"