Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Paper Boxes and Bowls
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of Paper Boxes. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

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The Decameron Box - 1432

This box, which from its date may equally well have been folded from parchment as from paper, is pictured in an illustrated version of 'The Decameron' by Boccacio, page 289 verse, dedicated to the 8th day, 76th storytelling, which is held in the library of Arsenal, in Paris and dates to 1432.

As far as I know this picture was first drawn to the attention of the paperfolding world in a letter from Barbara Benson of Atlanta Georgia (aka Donna Serena de Riva) to David Lister, see https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/11546606/paper-folding-in-15th-century-europe-welcome-to-my-website-it-

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The Catherine of Cleves Box - 1440 onwards

As far as I know this box was first drawn to the attention of the paperfolding world in a letter from Barbara Benson of Atlanta Georgia (aka Donna Serena de Riva) to David Lister, see https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/11546606/paper-folding-in-15th-century-europe-welcome-to-my-website-it-

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The Sanbo - c1720 onwards

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The Sanbo on Legs - 1734 onwards

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There is a note in the 'Kan No Mado', usually dated to 1845, which lists a box among those designs which are already well known and which are therefore not included in the ms (in order to spare the writer's brush). Unfortunately we cannot be certain which box is being referred to here

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The Open Box 1859.

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The Solid Box 1859.

The Junk Box - 1859 onwards

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The Blintz Box or Masu - 1874 onwards

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The Patisserie Box - 1893 onwards

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The Chrysanthemum Box - 1914 onwards

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'La Nature' of 2847 15th December 1930 contained an article headed 'Pliages de Papier' explaining how to fold 'La Bonbonierre Japonaise'.

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The Star-Shaped Box 1931.

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The Cake Box - 1931 onwards

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The Incense Box 1931

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The Box with Handles1932

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Issue 2966 of 1st December 1935 contained an article by Alber headed 'Pliage de papiers' and subheaded 'Vase ou lanterne' which explains how to make a simple fold and cut box (or vase or lantern).

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This Ornamental Box appears in 'Paper Toy Making' by Margaret Campbell, which was first published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date.

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La chocolatera (the Chocolate Maker) appears in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.

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'El Plegado y Cartonaje en la Escuela Primaria' by Antonio M Luchia and Corina Luciani de Luchia was published by Editorial Kapelusz in Buenos Aires in 1940 contains a number of designs for boxes:

Bandeja, Bombonera o Polvera (Tray, Bonbonniere or Compact) - A simplified version of the Caja Japonesa below, made with the aid of cuts.

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Bandejo Media Cubo (Half Cube Tray) - The same design as above but configured in a different way.

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Bandeja / Canastilla (Tray / Layette)

(The second design is a three-dimensionalised version of the first)

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Caja Japonesa

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'At Home Tonight' by Herbert McKay, which was published by Oxford University Press in London, New York and Toronto in 1940, contains diagrams for 'Dermot's Box', of which the author says 'This is, I think, the strongest and best of the boxes that can be made by paper-folding.'

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