Akio Kamei, at one of Nick Baxter's auctions a few months ago (photo by Nick). There were a few other Karakuri Creation Group boxes that I was bidding on, but they all went somewhat above what I wanted to spend, except for this one!
I was intrigued by this one because of its small size, I tend to like small boxes, since it makes you wonder how much of a mechanism could be hidden inside. This one is beautifully crafted from rosewood, and in quite good condition. It was made as Kamei's Christmas present back in 2002, things seem to have gotten much more ornate since then!
I was a bit disappointed to find out that the mechanism is actually the same as Karakuri Small Box #7 (shown here), but it is my own fault: it is listed right in the description for #7 on the Karakuri Club website. It does, however, look quite a bit nicer due to the rosewood construction. Also, the mechanism of this box is better disguised than in Small Box #7, which I liked. Fortunately, Small Box #7 is one of my favorites in the Karakuri Small Box series.
The mechanism itself is quite nice, and had a smooth movement. The first move is pretty easy, the second move is somewhat unusual, and the final move is quite unique. Overall, a cute little puzzle that has a nice solution and is well crafted. Since they have been sold out for a while, it may be a bit hard to come by this particular box except at auction, but you can get most of the enjoyment from purchasing Karakuri Small Box #7, which can be bought directly from the Karakuri Creation Group or through a distributor like Puzzle Master.
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