Puzzle boxes are great. We like both the complex, and the not-so-complex. With varying mechanisms come varying styles, but they all add a little fun to an otherwise straightforward object.
|7-Step Koyosegi Puzzle Box|
It seems the first puzzle boxes came from the Hakone region of Japan in the early- to mid- 19th century. They were called himitsu-bako, or personal secret box, and were decorated with yosegi-zaiku marquetry.
|6-Step Hexagon Puzzle Box|
|Hexagon Puzzle Box, Open|
This amazing technique is still practiced today, but only by a small number of artisans. Yosegi-zaiku involves putting together different types of wood with naturally varying colors into geometric patterns. Then the stack of patterned wood is shaved with a special plane into thin veneer slices, and the veneer applied as decoration.
|4-Step Cube Puzzle Box|
We proudly offer three examples of handcrafted yosegi-zaiku puzzle boxes in our collection. They all feature the koyosegi pattern on all sides, and are handcrafted by Hiroyuki Oka, who carries on the tradition of making these wonderful boxes.
From Bali, we have two puzzle boxes of a less complex nature, but full of charm
and simple beauty.
Hand-carved from suar and sono woods, the simplicity allows the
beauty of the wood to shine.
|Dragon Puzzle Box|
After learning her craft from her father, Eka now handcrafts these beautiful boxes. They require the removal of a pin-like piece so the top of the box can slide off and reveal an inner compartment.
|Heart Puzzle Box|
|Heart Puzzle Box, Taken Apart|
|Piano Puzzle Box|
|Piano Puzzle Box, Taken Apart|
We think puzzle boxes are great additions to our collection because we believe in supporting the artisans who continue to handcraft these interesting boxes, and we think they make outstanding gifts. Hide a little treat in any of these puzzle boxes, and enjoy watching the recipient have to work (just a little!) to get to it. It's two gifts in one!
Puzzle boxes are conversation pieces, and wonderfully decorative items to display. We will continue to look for unique puzzle boxes to add to our gift collection, so please stay tuned...
-Dogwood Hill Gifts