A Box Fit for a Future King and Queen.

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Project by Ian Hawthorne posted 04-28-2011 07:56 AM 4428 views 25 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Guys

We were commissioned to make this box as a gift for HRH Prince William & Catherine Middleton.
The box is made from native sycamore and has 2 lift out trays. Each tray has been divided up into 12 sections and then covered in lamb nappa. On the front of the trays there is some inlay work which is an abstract crown and is made from polyester resin. The main box lid consists of 6 pieces of slip matched ripple sycamore running at an angle with the royal monogram in the middle, the monogram is made from dyed blue and boxwood veneers produced by Aryma Uk and has been sand shaded to add depth.
The lid border and escutcheon is made with black acetal, the lock strike plates where produced on my mill from brass and the hinges were produced to my specs.
Finished with 3 coats of blonde shellac followed by wax for a silky smooth finish.

Watch the video



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

38 comments so far

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3058 days

#1 posted 04-28-2011 08:54 AM

Now there’s a feather in your cap…a royal commission! I can remember, long ago, on a pass through London, old shops with plaques on the doorpost stating ‘Purveyors to’ this or that. Could one of those plaques be in your organization’s future?
BTW beautiful work!

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 2694 days

#2 posted 04-28-2011 08:55 AM

Beautiful piece of work. The top is really stunning great work!

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3215 days

#3 posted 04-28-2011 09:37 AM

Amazing work all the way around on this! Congrats!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View peteg's profile


4299 posts in 2850 days

#4 posted 04-28-2011 09:54 AM

This is a truly “understated” piece of class work at it’s best, beautifully done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Armand's profile


232 posts in 2937 days

#5 posted 04-28-2011 10:36 AM

Beautiful box, smooth and elegant looking box.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3187 days

#6 posted 04-28-2011 11:33 AM

You’re sick man! :) That is truly awesome work.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2623 days

#7 posted 04-28-2011 11:51 AM

Beautiful box Ian and such an honor you received with this commission. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope the royal couple enjoy and appreciate this work of art! Most sincere wishes for HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton. May they have a long and happy life together.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2915 days

#8 posted 04-28-2011 12:14 PM

If the piece had been commissioned by H.R.H. Prince William, a “royal warrant” could be issued. Since it seems this was commissioned as a gift for him and is bride to be by another person, such a warrant would not be available.

Royal warrants are usually awarded to companies or individuals who supply goods or sevices to a member of the royal household on a regular basis, not to single item suppliers.

I can see it now: By Appointment, suppliers of toilet paper to Her Majesty, Queen Elisabeth II.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3529 days

#9 posted 04-28-2011 12:24 PM

Masterful Work Ian and quite the Honor!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2831 days

#10 posted 04-28-2011 12:35 PM

Craftsmanship at its best. just beautiful

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 2715 days

#11 posted 04-28-2011 12:41 PM

Absolutely a great looking box I love the details .And i really like the way the hinges are they make it look so strong.Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures


View Bruce's profile


199 posts in 3802 days

#12 posted 04-28-2011 12:56 PM

I think one of the screws is out of alignment. LOL

-- I think of Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman when he says "Where does he get those wonderful toys" and ask WHERE DO U GUYS GET ALL THAT WONDERFUL WOOD?

View ruddy's profile


543 posts in 2966 days

#13 posted 04-28-2011 01:29 PM

That is simply a work of art. Thanks for attaching the video and showing how you create these wonderful boxes. The marquetry inlay by Ayrma is inspiring, thank you for showing your work. You are the master.

On a different note, here is quote from Buckingham Palace on the eve of the wedding.

Apparently Will & Kate said they didn’t want the traditional fruitcake at the reception, but Phil said stuff ‘em, he’s going anyway.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3461 days

#14 posted 04-28-2011 02:39 PM

Superb craftsmanship Ian, truly an heirloom and wonderful gift for the Royal Couple, you are obviously extremely proud of your work, and rightly so.
I join with others wishing Prince William and Catherine a happy and long life together, I believe they were made for each other and this happy event is a shining light in these dark days of depression.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2863 days

#15 posted 04-28-2011 03:00 PM

Really neat stuff, but what are the circular trays for holding?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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