With A & F Partners, Oxfordshire, 1985.
THE TONY ROBINSON COLLECTION OF TREEN DRINKING VESSELS
Brought up in a family of timber merchants, Dad’s knowledge of wood was honed at an early age, this later developed into his passion for Treen. Intrigued by the history of drinking vessels, Dad immersed himself in researching their individual uses, often marvelling over their intricacy and varied patina. Throughout the years this experience led him to becoming increasingly selective over the pieces he chose, resulting in one of the world's most specialised collections of Treen.
As children we were always surrounded by wood, whether it be the trees of the Lake District or the perfect set of Windsor chairs around the Yewwood dining table – even the dog was called Timber! Back in the early eighties, as the house filled up and, encouraged by Mum to collect something smaller, Dad turned his attention to Treen.
Over the decades he became increasingly selective, specialising in finely turned drinking vessels and combing the country for individually significant pieces. With his ear to the ground, and having developed an extensive network of contacts, Dad knew when key objects that would develop and enhance his collection were available.
We were talked through new acquisitions in great detail, always having to guess what type of wood it was made from before Dad revealed it’s age and use, bringing each piece to life with stories of historical figures drinking from these ancient goblets.
As the collection grew, so did Dad’s desire to display it in all its glory. Mum was happy as the house got a makeover, with new carpets and a shelving unit to complement the arrangement. What she hadn’t bargained on was the dazzling spotlights, although she was the first to admit they did show off the grain and carvings beautifully.
Being an accountant, Dad relished in compiling extensive records, itemising each piece chronologically and documenting their provenance and history. He always planned to write a book and impart his specialist knowledge, but was sadly unable to fulfil his ambition due to illness. His dream has instead been turned into a legacy through this refined unique collection. He would be thrilled to see his Treen on a world stage for others who share his passion to enjoy.