Box of Chocolates

“Box of Chocolates” was designed to showcase the beautiful raw material Mother Nature graced us with…wood. It took over 300 hours in a six month period to design and build. It is made up of over 450 pieces. It is 21” x 15” x 12”. The main body portion is made out of Quartersawn Spalted Sycamore with African Blackwood splines. The grain of the sycamore wraps around the box. It has been carved to give it the texture of hand dipped chocolate. The main lid portions are Ziricote. It has a floating frame made from Canary wood and the center panel is a book-matched piece of figured Ash. Splines in the lid are made from a stack up of Maple and African Blackwood. Concave cuts in the lid and base represent the over tightening of an imaginary ribbon.


The rear view shows off the wooden hinges. They are constructed of Quartersawn Cocobolo and have 95 degree stops designed into them. The finials and plugs are Gaboon Ebony. The spacer is African Blackwood. The base of “BoC” is constructed of Ziricote. The legs are Shedua and made using a miter fold joint. Making a concave cut into that joint makes for an interesting grain pattern. Paduak dowels are used to further strengthen leg mounting.


The view with the lid open shows the 24 “Chocolates” inside. The “Chocolates” are 2.5” square boxes made from Spalted Maple. The grain runs around and entire box and they are all box jointed. Each lid is made from a different type of wood and contains a unique carving or design. The different lid woods are Wenge, Jatoba, East Indian Rosewood, Cocobolo, Purpleheart, Paduak, Redheart, Bloodwood, Birdseye Maple, Spalted Maple, Curly Maple, African Mahogany, Bolivian Rosewood, American Holly, Bubinga, Honduras Rosewood, Zebrawood, Leopardwood, Osage Orange, Canarywood, Bocote, Chechen, Yellowheart and Claro Walnut. The “Chocolates” are flush to the top of the divider. To remove them you reach under the main box and slide one of three lifting mechanisms towards you. 8 boxes will rise out of the main box per lifting mechanism. The far right boxes are in the up position. There is also more detailed picture of the 24 “Chocolate” tops showing the carvings and different woods. The divider that separates them is made from African Mahogany and was made using sliding dovetail joints…accuracy was key. You can also see the Koa butterflies that have been inserted into the lid.


The straight down overhead view shows the “layers”. “Chocolates” on the left, lifting trays in middle and a view of the lifting dowels on the right. The “Chocolates” sit on trays made from Spalted Maple. The trays are lifted by the lifting dowels. The idea is that when you remove a “Chocolate” you see a tray and not a dowel. The “Chocolates” and trays are lined with a “chocolate” colored fabric.


There is one picture that shows the body of the box removed giving a clear view of the three lifting mechanisms in different states. They are made from Quartersawn Spalted Maple, Cherry and Oak. All dowels had a tenon turned onto the ends to guarantee straightness when mounted. They fit into a blind round mortise. On the left I show the lifting dowel plate removed. The middle shows the mechanism in a lowered position. The far right shows the mechanism in a lifted position. Position stops were designed into the cams so you cannot engage or disengage them too far. They are actuated by sliding a Bolivian Rosewood handle under the box. All the mechanism hardware, except for the handles, was finished with a hand rubbed polyurethane finish for durability.

All the other pieces of the box where sanded to 400 grit and finished with four coats of Danish Oil followed by two buffings with Briwax.


Please contact me if you're interested in purchasing this piece.

Price: $7000

Jeff Baenen Boxes

Kenosha, WI

Tel: 847 331 0756