These beautiful “boxes” or what is known in Sweden as Svepask box is constructed of a thin piece of steam-bent wood that is laced together with some type of tree root, usually birch. The sides have two vertical posts cut with notches that are used to hold the lid on. Because of the snapping noise that they make when being closed, they are also called snap boxes. To open the tine, the side posts are gently pulled apart using the flex of the wood until the lid is freed and can then be lifted off.
Many were left in the natural wood state and decorated with designs that have been impressed using hot pokers or dies of various sizes and shapes. These boxes retain the original color of the wood and have a layer of protective varnish on them that has darkened over the years. As a result they develop a beautiful rich brown color.
They were used to store valuable possessions such as grains, meat, or anything else that might need to be secure. Some evidence also suggests that these boxes were widely available to emigrants who purchased them before getting on the boats to the New World where they served as reminders of the old country. In today’s home, you could leave one open with magazines, or store blankets in the larger one. Lift the lift and have a beautiful Bonsai tree tucked in, or in the master bath have luxurious towels rolled up and ready to use.
At Freyia, we are lucky enough to have three Svepask boxes in different sizes ranging from10”Wx15”L x10”H up to18”WX 25”LX10”H One has the detailed pattern while the other one is much larger and less ornate. Prices range from $300 to $800.