Italian Art Deco Puzzle Jewellery Box With Secret Lock And Compartment

( JB487 )
SOLD ~ Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

Beautiful Italian Art Deco puzzle jewellery box with a secret lock & compartment. Fully refurbished interior. Unique painting to the inisde of the lid. Working lock and key.

Italian Art Deco Puzzle Jewellery Box With Secret Lock And Compartment

  FREE UK NEXT DAY DELIVERY. We Ship Worldwide. 

This is a fabulous high-quality Art Deco jewellery box. It was made in Sorrento, Italy, and it dates to the 1920s/1930s. It is a wonderful puzzle box with a secret lock and compartment. The interior has been fully refurbished and the inside of the lid has a unique painting.

The Exterior

This box is made of solid Olivewood, details of which are given below. The Olivewood is unusually dark and has very attractive figuration.

The box is in the form of books. There are two books horizontally placed at the top and bottom, and 2 rows of upright volumes in between. These are all numbered with hand-painted Roman Numerals (I to XI). There are also hand-painted details to the top and bottom books.

The lid has absolutely stunning decoration. It has two hand-painted flowers (professionally retouched by our restorer), and 4 beautiful inlaid micro mosaic strips, diagonally positioned across each corner. The micro mosaic inlay consists of hundreds of tiny pieces of wood, of numerous colourful varieties. The pieces have been skillfully positioned to create beautiful little squares. Each inlaid mosaic strip is identical and placed in a symmetrical fashion.

The box is complete with its original secret lock and hinges. It comes with a vintage replacement key which has been fitted to operate the existing lock. The secret lock is hidden behind the bottom row of upright volumes.

There is a secret compartment within the bottom horizontally placed book. This compartment is shallow and ideal for private/treasured letters and photos etc, The key to this box can also be stored in there for safekeeping. Instructions on how to access the secret lock and compartment will be sent along with the box.

The Interior

The interior has two swing opening compartments at the top and a further larger compartment beneath. All three compartments have been beautifully refurbished by our skilled box restorer. They have stunning new gold satin linings, with the base panels being padded to protect your jewellery. The hinges on the swing compartments are original.

The inside of the lid has a very pretty scene of flowers and Swallows in flight. This has been beautifully hand-painted by our restorer and is completely unique to this box only! This painting reflects similar original paintings found on many of these old puzzle boxes. Such paintings are usually confined to the exterior, so it's particularly nice to have our restorer's painting on the inside! The painting beautifully complements the flowers upon the lid.

Our Skilled Box Restorer

You can read about Jim, our wonderful box restorer, by visiting our About Us page.

About Olivewood

Olivewood has a distinctive grain and rich colour which gives it a beautiful appearance. It has characteristic brown and yellow streaks which make for a beautiful contrast. These features make it a sought after wood for decorative items such as jewellery boxes.

Olivewood is also favoured for its hardness. It is a strong durable wood with a fairly high density and it takes well to cutting and polishing.

The Olive tree primarily grows in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. Its wood has been used for many years by Italian box makers in particular. It is also a favoured wood in areas of the Holy Lands such as Jerusalem.

The Olivewood on this box is unusually dark. This is another feature which adds to this box's specialness.


This wonderful box is in excellent condition despite its 90/100 years of age. It has sound structure and all of the inlay is present and secure. There is very little wear to the Olivewood.

The interior linings, being new, are in immaculate clean, unused condition.

The hinges are still in good working order and the box locks securely.


These beautiful puzzle boxes with their secret locks and compartments were designed to securely store valuable pieces of jewellery and private documents etc. Puzzle boxes are still made today but these modern versions are rarely as beautiful or well made.

This particular box may have been made as a souvenir for Italy's tourist market.

Notes About Vintage Locks

We would like to make you aware that vintage locks can occasionally malfunction. They are already very old and will naturally have some wear from age and use. We are not responsible for locks that malfunction from further age and use once boxes are purchased.

Please ensure the lock is still working as soon as you receive your box. It will be checked again prior to posting.

You can view our full returns policy which includes locks by visiting our Payments And Returns page.


Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements.

Length:  22.5cm
Width:    13.2cm
Height:   12.4cm

Interior Top Compartments x 2:

9.0 by 8.8cm with a 2.2cm depth.

Interior Lower Compartment;

19.6 by 10.0cm with a 4.4cm depth.


This box will be posted FREE within the UK by Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery.

International postage is £20 by Royal Mail International Tracked and/or Signed For postage. Delivery is fast, within 3-5 working days to Europe and 5-7 working days to the rest of the world. Delivery may be longer depending on the speed of your local postal service and/or if your parcel has to go through customs.

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