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Cross 4 Sun 10 Step Japanese Puzzle Box
4 Sun 10 steps Cross pattern from Kakutaya. We special ordered a particularly attractive gift box to hold these. A particularly beautiful pattern that is a favorite here.
About Puzzle Boxes:
Not just puzzles, these trick boxes are works of art created by a small group of master craftsmen in the Hakone-Odawara region of Japan. Once you start to study them beyond their striking beauty, you see that there is no apparent lid and seemingly no way to open them. However, careful investigation reveals that its surface has several movable pieces. The fits are incredibly precise, but you can slide them in various sequences. Unless an exact series of moves is made however, the box will not open. This sequence and the number of steps required to solve the box is as designed by the craftsman for that box. Be SURE and save the instructions that come with each box.
For generations since the late 1800’s, to learn the craft one must apprentice with a true Himitsu-Bako (Puzzle Box) Master. There are only a handful of Masters left, and many fear the art will be lost after their passing.
The design on the outside of the box is not painted on. The coloring is all natural created from the color of the wood alone using the grain and texture of a wide variety of trees. For example, spindlewood for white, Katsura for black, sumac or mulberry for yellow, camphor for brown, Japanese cucumber for blue, Chinese cedar for red, etc…. To make these patterns, the wood is initially squeezed in a vise to create geometric patterns. The pattern is then planed using a special hand tool to create a paper thin sheet, which is then applied to the box.
There are different qualities of Japanese secret boxes available today on the internet. A box may have the same marquetry design, size, and number of steps as another, but not necessarily be of the same quality. When looking at various sources for boxes, be aware that lower priced box of equivalent size and appearance may also be lower quality. The boxes could be made from two different studios or the difference could be that one is the work of an apprentice and the other of a master craftsman.
We try to provide you with a good description of our boxes so that you can make an educated purchase decision and have zeroed in on three excellent studios to procure most of our boxes. They are Izumiya, Oka-Craft and Yamanaka. There are several indicators of quality beyond the studio; for example is the craftman's hanko on the box? A master craftsman will leave his hanko, or signature stamp on the boxes that he creates. The hanko is usually located on the interior side of the lid. We also look for smoothness of movement and surface quality.
You can be assured of excellent quality boxes by buying through PAX Puzzles.
Name: Cross 4 Sun 10 Step Trick Box
4 Sun (4.7" x 3.25" x 2.2")
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