Collector's Antique and Vintage Opening and Extraction Puzzles
For Sale or Exchange

Click on Thumbnails for bigger pictures then click the pictures again.
Cigarette Box Another non-puzzle, but fun Japanese box. Press down on the back of the top and the drawer springs open. Condition Good but with shrink bubbling of veneer on one side.
OPN-007 £45
Puzzle Drawer Box. Open hidden slide and press down on hidden slide to open drawer. Works well; but some bubbling to veneer and base has a shrinkage warp and crack
OPN-012 £35
Superior Quality Psycho Snuff Box. (Hoffmann 2/30)
OPN-015 £60
Coin Vanish Box Not a puzzle but ingeniously constructed magic trick. A coin is placed in the box , It can be heard rattling around inside, then on command it vanishes. Excellent condition apart from a few stains on the outside.
OPN-017 £60
Bakelite Vesta Puzzle. Squeeze mid-edges in an unexpected way and the top edge springs open. Good condition but with discolouring as shown in photos.
OPN-026 £50

Yosegi Money House Puzzle. A very unusual mechanism - Raised part of roof slides sideways to reveal con slot. Then unexpectedly if it is lifted, it unlock the whole roof which can be slid forward, then the back up to open box. Condition only fair as it has undergone some repairs, though it is still fully functional.


OPN-030 £65

Mt.Fuji Drawer Box. Secret panel covers unlocking latch.

OPN-106 £30

Nice old drawer box. Top left frame missing (could be replaced). Fully functional. Early example.
OPN-109 £30

Circa 1970. 10 moves to open box and drawer. Not sure if there ever was a jangly tune but if there was, it does not work now.
OPN-111 £40

Early"Psycho" type SNUFF BOX, possibly 18th Century.
Whatever locking pin was there has come out but could be replaced. It is a very pretty box as is, and the main cavity is carved out of the solid wood. A small piece of stringing has ben lost (see photos). 89x68x36 mm

OPN-023a £50


SORRENTO "Stack of Books" box in very good order apart from a crack in the mirror which could easily be replaced.

OPN-124 £60


Early 19th century puzzle SNUFF SHOE

OPN-130 £60

Another crazy Japanese cigarette box from the home of yosegi puzzle boxes. Roll back the lid and it offers 3 cigarettes.

OPN-131 £38

A pretty softwood snuff-box in the shape of an old carpenters plane. 16.5 cm long.
OPN-134 £175

Beautiful box with secret drawer c.1800. Fantastic flame-mahogany veneered softwood. Monogrammed JB. A small piece of mahogany veneer is missing from the back of the lid. It might have had a mirror inside the lid, or perhap a picture - Easy to put what you want there. A little marked as people have tried to get into the secret over the past 200 years.
OPN-137 £75


Beautifully inlaid mahogany & ebony money box with four coin slots. Curiously some of the slots are too small for an old English penny. Not a very difficult puzzle by nice piece of Victorian woodwork.  11 x 6 x 3 inches.


OPN-347-  £60

Items below have been sold : -

The Dunhill Orienteer Cigarette .

The very rare and original design using a built in compass. This example is made of oak with the original white glass lining. 8" long.

If you know the secret, just lightly press down on the button and the lid springs open . If you do not know the secret, it is one of the most baffling puzzle boxes. 1924. Photocopy of original Patent 232,367/24 is enclosed.

Condition Good. Original baize and label on base have been replaced and the mechanism has been overhauled.

OPN-001 sold

Olive Wood Barrel in the style of Hoffmann. c.1900
80mm high

Condition= Excellent though coin slot was cut slightly crooked.

OPN-002 sold

Playing Card Box

Nice Japanese box. 1930s?. Condition Good.

OPN-004 sold
Crazy Bird Cigarette Box. Great yosegi box onlaid to look like an old valve radio. Open the lid and while you lift it it, it plays a dreadful tingly tune and the crazy bird comes up with a cigarette in its beak.
Close the lid and it plays the tune backwards while the bird goes down for another cigarette. (Supplied without cigarettes). Condition excellent.
OPN-005 sold...
Cigarette Box Another ingenious and fun Japanese box. Lift the top, lower it, and a cigarette appears on top. Only a very slight puzzle is loading it with cigarettes. Condition Good but varnish scratched could easily be cleaned.
OPN-006 sold
Vanishing Coin Money Box. This is an example of Yosegi work. Put coin into the drawer and close it - Coin vanishes into the box. Puzzle is how to get it out.
OPN-008 sold
Parcel Box 4 (M16-4). 1991 by Akio Kamei . In original cardboard box.
OPN-009 sold..

Japanese Money House. Pretty money box.

Function is good but there is some slight damage to left of front veneers, and right wall has been cracked and glued. Coin slot is in back roof - Coins removed by sliding base.



Checked Secret Puzzle Box (H-3) by Hiroyuki Oka Japan 1991 In original box with instructions.
OPN-011 sold..
Fantastic Japanese version of the Psycho Box. Box is as new, purchased in the late 1960s from a store which claimed to have had it in stock from before the First World War!
OPN-013 sold
Silver Tobacco Box. An oval "squeeze the sides to open" box. By George Unite & Sons of Birmingham 1925. Fully Hallmarked with gilded interior. 80 grams (2.9 Oz)
OPN-014 sold

White City Puzzle Safe No.326.
by Nicol US patent 1894.
Cast Iron Coin Bank which is a horrible trick. The original locking screw and butterfly nut have been replaced by brass ones. The trick is that you hide the butterfly nut and leave your hapless victim assuming that it is a puzzle because it has "Puzzle Safe" embossed on the front. Also embossed with a Ferris Wheel & Government Building

OPN-016 sold
Coin Vanish Box Not a puzzle but ingeniously constructed magic trick. A coin is placed in the box , It can be heard rattling around inside, then on command it vanishes. Perfect condition.


Swiss Box Only the top central block at the front on the lid works the bolt. 107mm long
OPN-019 sold
Swiss Box III. 131 mm long with rare bolt system - The whole central portion of the lid unlocks the bolt.
OPN-021 sold


Desirable Residence in need of restoration. Coins supposed to go into vanishing drawer making squarking noise.

OPN-022a sold
Tunbridgeware Puzzle Ball. Sadly this one has been damaged. The push in point has been made visible by an idiot with an implement; however the other five external faces are all in good order so it remains an ornamental item. 2/3rds of the internal plugs thread have been lost but it still plugs in OK. (This was an earlier and smarter version of the Ebony Puzzle Ball illustrated in Hoffmann 2/41)


Bakelite Vesta Puzzle. Squeeze mid-edges in an unexpected way and the top edge springs open. Excellent condition
OPN-025 sold
Puzzle Vesta or Match safe To open, drop the box onto the table. Nickel plated vesta. Fair condition with sundry dings and dents.
OPN-031 sold
Swiss Puzzle Vesta Hand carved with edelweiss flowers. Hold drawer against spring and tilt the correct way to unlock it. OPN-032 sold
Castle Type Money Box. This one is stuck - We guess that you are supposed to use a large coin to unscrew the recessed slotted top; however we cannot do it, so we are assuming that this is faulty and now a non-working ornament. If you can get it to work you have a bargain. OPN-033 sold
Yosegi Box - Probably 1930s. Suitcase design - Slide top catches outwards then handle side down then Mt.Fuji side down. Some ink stains inside, strip at bottom of Fuji side has been replaced. All worn commensurate with age but fully functional. OPN-101 sold
Antique Japanese Puzzle Box. Only 2 moves to open but very old and rare - One of the oldest Japanese Puzzle Boxes - Late 19th Century. This is not Yosegi work. The pattern on sides is nearly 3mm thick, the inlay on top and bottom is nearly 0.75mm thick. Small ink stain and various minor scratches and dings. OPN-103 sold

Great and unusual design. Vertical panel in end lifts to unlock base which is then rotated to unlock the opposite end panel.
OPN-107 sold

Another Yosegi suitcase design - Slide top catches outwards then handle side down then Mt.Fuji side down.
OPN-108 sold

Traditional Book Box for hiding valuables. Made of Oak probably c.1900

OPN-114 sold

Brass tobacco box. Possibly used by Welsh Miner c1890. Actually opens by sliding top panel. Button is a red-herring. Press the button and you push your finger onto a pin - Now rather blunt and short so not very dangerous.
OPN-115 sold

Italian money box from Sorrento with traditional Bluebirds of Happiness. c 1912. Missing tiny piece of wood near secret opening.
OPN-113 sold

Swiss puzzle match safe. Carved with edelweiss. Tip Left and tap to unlock, tip right and tap to lock drawer. Catch needs a little work.
OPN-116 sold

Miniature keyless brass padlock. Nice old patina.
OPN-117 sold

Dudley Lock, Toronto. Patented 1931. With original label.
OPN-119 sold
Modern Chinese Lock that can be locked. The small key locks the big keys keyway. OPN-120 sold

Very nice improvement on Sorrento mechanics: Both bottom front panels slide left, Bottom side slides forward to remove key, then back to allow right front to move right. Usually centre "book" would drop to show keyhole but with this box there is a cunning extra move, as shown in the photos. Rather worn but fully functional.

OPN-121 sold

SCRIMSHAW BOX. Measuring 90 mm High x 67 x 28 mm. This has the swiveling top lid like the Psycho Box but without any locking pin. It an interesting example of a superior oriental box, that started to appear in the 1990s. Beautifully inscribed to look like a piece of antique scrimshaw.


OPN-024a sold
Akio Kamei WHISKEY BOTTLE (P-4) with 3 compartments.
OPN-125 sold

Good VANISHING COIN money box.




Book Bank
Rather the worse for wear but fun anyway. Rotate part spine to reveal coin slot. Slide rest to unlock.

C.1890. Condition=poor but functions well

OPN-003 sold

Miniature keyless brass padlock.
OPN-118 sold
Magic Drawer Match-Box. Same mechanics as Hoffmann 2/31. Made by Specialty Service Corp. Des Moines. Tin covered with leatherette.
OPN-023 sold
Magic Drawer Nickel plated Book Box. Same mechanics as Hoffmann 2/31. While opening, tilt towards spine and the drawer is empty, tilt away from spine and contents appear again. Made in Vienna Austria.
OPN-024 sold
Hoffmann Ball & Chain. See Hoffmann 2/21. This one has a ring instead of the chain. It looks beautiful but we cannot do it, so we are assuming that this is faulty and now a non-working ornament. If you can get it to work you have a real bargain. OPN-034 sold


TAKITAPART puzzle with original 1930s box.

OPN-128 sold
TRI-"N"-DO-IT. 1940s puzzle
OPN-129 sold
Remove the marble from the bottle.
OPN-133 sold

19th Century Japanese TRAVELLING MERCHANT'S PILLOW BOX. This is what started the Japanese puzzle Box industry in Hakone.

The cushion comes off to reveal 3 tiny boxes with sliding lids and an abacus. The underside of this section has a removable panel for hiding papers.

The next section also has a lid and drop in panel to hide papers underneath.

The end slides up and a mirror folds out of it. There are now two drawers. The opposite end slides out and is actually a complete candle lantern.

There are various minor damages which can be seen in the photographs.


OPN-132 sold

Beautiful brass bound mahogany WRITING SLOPE c.1800 in excellent condition, with original Bramah lock, keys, inkwells, prop and support for optional use as a lectern, and brass candlesticks. It has a clever well concealed assortment of five or more secret drawers over three levels.

In excellent condition. Late 18th/early 19th Century.



Swiss Box III. 103mm long, with rare bolt system - The whole central portion of the lid unlocks the bolt. OPN-135 sold

Swiss Box IV. 116mm long, with rare bolt system - The whole central portion of the lid unlocks the bolt.
OPN-136 sold

Antique 18th or 19th Century Indian box with secret hiding place. Metal bound in heavy hardwood. Ideal for storing small puzzles.



Interesting 2 section Japanese Box. Two moves opens and removes one section, two more moves opens second section. A little warped but should settle if not kept in over-dry climate.




P342 Very unusual Triple-Fold Writing Slope or Table Desk. Rosewood brass bound and inlaid with three hidden areas containing 7 secret drawers. c.1850. 18.5 x 11 x 9 inches closed and 18 x 30 x 7.5 inches open
OPN-036 sold
Rare design Yosegi House. Sadly front has been split and repaired. Wear commensurate with age and fully working. With front facing you - Slide roof-square left to show coin slot. To remove coins slide roof-square left, then lift 3mm - this unlocks whole roof which can now slide forwards. Finally back slides up to open the box. OPN-102 sold

Circa 1970. 10 moves to open box and jangly music drawer.
OPN-110 sold
Ninomiya 7-move box. Condition perfect. Complete with original packaging and instructions.
OPN-035 sold

Money Box Slide hides keyhole, second slide hides key. c1930
OPN-112 sold
Perplexing Palace Puzzle. This was an IPP32 Exchange puzzle. The counter with the Crown is the Queen who is surrounded by her guards. You must remove her from the Palace for her Party and then Return her to the starting position. Looks simple but the dark dungeon conceals a secret. we can send the solution on request. OPN-144 sold
Swiss Box II. Unusually small 82mm long, with rare bolt system - The whole central portion of the lid unlocks the bolt. About 6 antique wormholes. Front inscribed as a souvenir "VILLARS" - The Swiss Ski resort .
OPN-020 sold

MAGIC DRAWER Cigarette Cabinet. c1920 Hakone.  All four doors open and can display up to 5 cigarettes. The drawer at the bottom, which was presumably for a box of matches, opens in any of the 4 directions.  A very clever idea. Nice Yosegi work of pictures of Irises, Chrysanthemums, Three views of Mt. Fuji, etc.   

OPN-351-  sold



The puzzle box that works on a completely new principal.

Winner of the 2015 Nob Yoshigahara Design Competition Jury 1st Prize

Can you Open it?
Can you
Close it?
Can you
Understand it?


DOT-BOX out of stock Jan 2018