Saturday 28 December 2013

A quick plug...

[UPDATE - and we're all done at $13,201 ... ]   

[Pic courtesy of the Stickman.]
...for an awesome project from some of my puzzle-buddies. 

Just in case you haven't already seen this, and you're a fan of puzzle boxes - this is without a doubt the single-most-epic-puzzle-box-you-will-ever-find.Bar none. 

As I write this the bidding has gone past $10,000 ... and it's still a bargain, albeit one my bank manager won't allow me to enjoy! If you don't have an account set up yet, Nick will be glad to oblige  ... Oh and by the way there are some other little things on sale too... [at]

The Stickman Apothecary Puzzlechest is a realized vision, over 4 years in the making, with the goal of representing an entire era of some of the best puzzle designers and craftsmen from around the world.  Twelve prolific artists from 5 different countries participated in orchestrating its creation.  Each drawer within has been quality hand-crafted to exhibit the best abilities and individual styles of these artists.  

The chest itself is also a complex mechanical puzzle.  The solution of individual puzzlebox drawers is required to obtain mechanical parts, and these are required to progress its sequential movement.  Within the chest, mechanical pistons lock drawers into place while still allowing them to slide freely.  Pushing in on a drawer causes others to automatically extrude from the chest.  And in turn, pushing those drawers back causes yet other drawers to come out in an apparently random fashion.  Deducing the pattern and sequence of drawer movements is part of the puzzle to this chest, as drawers can only be released under certain conditions.  Once a puzzle drawer has been removed and solved, pressing it back into its slot will automatically re-engage it into its locking mechanical piston.  

Enough cannot be said about the puzzle drawers designed by contributing artists; many of whom have received awards for their abilities.  The only restriction placed upon designs was the size of the puzzle, which required parameter sides of 3” just to fit into the chest, (some puzzles are 3” cube and others measure 3” x 3” x 4”).  The goal was as to require minimal restrictions in order to ensure the true flavor and style of each artist.

[Pic courtesy of the Stickman.]
The designs of puzzlebox drawers vary from the seemingly simple to exhaustingly complex.  Some require just a few profound and elusive steps, while others require moves going into the hundreds.  Many of these puzzles are exclusive to only this chest, or significantly limited in production, and are therefore rare.  With such diversity in complexity, concepts, and styles, there is something appealing to everyone in this chest. The chest is crafted from quality sapele wood, decoratively accented with purpleheart inlays, and measures 18” x 16” x 12”.  It rests up on a base of intricately carved wooden feet and comes with a 15-page, fully illustrated instruction book.  All drawers have been signed and numbered by each artist. 

Originally, the only way to obtain one of these chests was to be an artist contributing to the project, and none were intended for public sale.  However project bylaws have since been expanded, now allowing for two additional copies to be sold at auction to help cover expenses.  Stickman Apothecary Puzzle Chests are limited in edition to only 15 completed copies, and this particular chest is #15 out of the limited edition set.

...and Rox has an even better write-up over here - with more pictures!!!


  1. Absolutely incredible and very very nice! I hope I can get my hands on some of the individual puzzles. I already have the Topless Box from Eric Fuller

  2. I was really hoping that you would be the one to buy it Allard! That's the only way I will ever get to see and play with such a gorgeous piece of puzzling craftsmanship!