Famous Boxes

There aren't many famous boxes. Most boxes are quietly anonymous. Whether humble or ornate they live among us with little notice except by their owners and/or makers. However, a few famous boxes hit our imagination in such a way that they stick with us.

Custom Search

Pandora's Box (which was actually a jar, but let's not stand on ceremony) is one such case. It has entered our mythology and is well known. In this case it's not the box as much as the symbolism behind it which is famous.

This was a box that was not to be opened and it has come to represent our hidden desires which often get us into trouble. When we say someone has opened a Pandora's box we mean trouble which can't be stuffed back inside and hidden away.

Pandora's Box

This is what Pandora's "box" might have looked like, although, as a myth, it's hard to know for sure.*

Shaker Boxes are another example of familiar boxes. They are simple and beautiful. These popular boxes were (and still are) elegant and take their beauty from their shape. (They are also lots of fun to make.)

Their characteristic shape and style are familiar to many people. Shakers were not the first to make bentwood boxes, but they put their own stamp on them and popularized them to the point we still associate this particular style with the Shakers.

nested Shaker boxes
Shaker tray
Shaker hat box
(click here for info on making Shaker Boxes)

Thomas Jefferson designed a compact and useful lap desk. It is said that he used it when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. The original now resides in the Smithsonian.

Below on the left is my version of the original Jefferson desk** pictured on the right.

Jefferson lap desk
Jefferson lap desk original

I'll add other boxes to this list as I have time. If you have a particular one you'd like me to add contact me with details and I'll add it to this page.

For those who are interested in this site check out the links and feel free to sign up for my newsletter Wood Shop News.

Contact me if you have questions or would like to discuss a custom order.

Please note: woodworking is potentially dangerous. Please read my disclaimer before using any information on this site or any site you may be directed to from here. Thanks for visiting.

*Image of "Pandora's box" from Christies. Image of original Jefferson lap desk from the **Smithsonian.
top of "famous boxes" page

Check out my Etsy site here.