Its possible to build a box with a sprung lid and a sprung concealed
catch. These are usually called puzzle or trick boxes as they are
designed to baffle the casual user on how they open.
These boxes are difficult to describe and frustrating to make
The top or lid is set on a tensioned pivot hinged fixed under the
lid and almost at the back of the box such that the lid will, if
unrestrained spring into the open position. The hinge is mounted on a
false internal back wall a few about 1.0cm in from the actual back
wall such that when the box opens the user cannot see the tail end
of the top which drops down below the false wall.
The top is held in the close position by a “U” shaped channel
running along the top edge of the box back and is released when the
back- also fitted with a sprung flush hinge is pulled back to
release the back edge of the top. The flush hinge in the box back can
be further concealed by engraving lines around the box at the same
height as the flush hinge.
I have made two of these boxes with only the second being a
reasonable success in terms of its function and cosmetic appearance.
The only published image of such a box that I have seen is plate
189, page 118 of a book titled “Silver Boxes” by Eric Delieb. This
one has a crease in the top along the line of the pivot hinge which I
assume was caused by some one who was unaware of the end catch and
forced the lid.
I don’t have any plans to make any more of these boxes soon as its
so much easier to make a sprung flush hinge box with a small push
catch on the front, either with an enamel top or set stone on the
push button. Looks nice!