SAPER GALLERIES

and Custom Framing

Costa Rican Boxes

Home       About       Inventory       Contact       Testimonials       Chat Live Now



You may also enjoy the wooden boxes by artists Monica Martinez.

Costa Rican Cocobolo (Revisited)!
 
Exhibition opened Sunday, May 5, 2013
Cocobolo boxes on display today

Scroll down to see the cocobolo wooden boxes!   New Costa Rican wooden bowls are here!

From Saper Galleries owner Roy Saper

Two years ago I returned from Costa Rica with dozens of wooden boxes, small trays and bowls made from the exotic hardwood cocobolo, named for the tree that grows in a narrow coastal region of that Central American country.  In March (2013) I revisited Costa Rica to rediscover the artists who fabricated from dried fallen cocobolo trees, the beautiful wooden boxes that you see pictured below.

I drove throughout the Alajuela province, stopping frequently to seek directions as I sought to find the wood-working artists whose workshops are without street or email addresses or phones.  It was exciting to gradually recollect my bearings from my 2011 visit and surprisingly locate four artist workshops in
Grecia, Sarchi, Naranja, and Escazu, Costa Rica where mounds of cocobolo logs would be transformed into highly polished, smooth, richly colored and grained boxes.

Many of the roads leading to the workshops were bumpy dirt paths and the workshops were usually crudely constructed wooden frames covered with corrugated metal and pierced with large openings to the outside (without window glass).  Drifts of sawdust collected everywhere and the air warranted breathing masks (though very few were seen) as the hand-operated lathes turned, saws sliced, and polishing wheels whirred.  An occasional walk outside was necessary to clear the air and marvel at the beauty created from what looked like a pile of
discarded, dried tree logs.  Outdoors I watched an artisan sitting on a log, hand sanding shaped cocobolo that was transformed to be the top of a distinctive cocobolo wooden box with a unique lid handle.

My excitement in rediscovering the cocobolo artistry in 2013 was as great as the initial discovery in 2011 that you can read about here (below).

I hope you enjoy these boxes as much as I do.  We sold out of most of what I brought back from Costa Rica two years ago and am delighted to now replenish our collection and ship new boxes to the many who requested them when we got more.  For most styles we may have multiple boxes available, each with varying grain and some with darker or lighter colors, so just let us know if you would like us to email you photos of all we have in our current inventory of the style(s) you prefer -- while they last!
 
What do you put in the boxes?  Jewelry, your watch at night, car keys, lip balm, pocket change and wallet, flash drive, your pin collection, love notes, keep-sakes, sewing threads, special momentoes, and other items that you want to remember and protect.  Many have bought them as gifts for occasions including graduations, weddings, all holidays, for parents and for children.  Better than wine, flowers or candy, a cocobolo wood box will be a gift enjoyed and remembered always!.

Thank you for having read this summary of my revisiting Costa Rica and for viewing the cocobolo collection from 2013.

If you would like to see more photographs of the workshops, click here to see the photos at the bottom of this page.
One of the workshops in Costa Rica
One of the artist workshops in Costa Rica

Inside one of the
                    workshops
Inside one of the workshops

Starting with a
                    wooden log
All the boxes below started as a log sawed by hand


In many cases we have more than one box of the styles and sizes shown below, each with different grain and color.  Please ask should you wish to receive photographs of others of a certain style so you can make a selection among all we have (that are not pictured).
Small square box with
                    T-shaped handle
Small square box opened
Cocobolo wood square box with T-shaped handle on hinged lid <New!
4 x 4 x 1 1/2"
$46

Wide box with T-shaped handle
Opened
Wide cocobolo and cristobal wood box with T-shaped handle on hinged lid
4 x 7 1/8 x 1 5/8"
$84

Larger wide box with long handle
Open
Larger wide cocobolo wood box with long handle on hinged lid
4 3/4 x 8 1/2 x 2"
$112


Square box with convex lid
Opened
Square cocobolo wood box with convex lid
4 3/4 x 4 3/4 x 2"
$78

Wide box with convex lid
Opened
Wide cocobolo wood box with convex lid
4 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 2"
$98

Jewelry box 5
                    5/8 x 8 3/4 x 3"
Jewlery box
                    opened
Deep jewelry box in cocobolo wood with chamfered lid and sliding, removable inner tray <New!
5 5/8 x 8 3/4 x 3"
$148

Larger
                    jewlery box
Larger
                    jewelry box open
Wider deep jewelry box in cocobolo wood with chamfered lid and sliding, removable inner tray <New!
5 3/4 x 10 1/2 x 3"

$174

Two tier jewelry box
Two tier jewlery
                    box opened
Wider two-tier jewelry box in cocobolo wood with chamfered lid and upper and lower levels <New!
8 x 11 1/2 x 3 3/4"

$256

2" wide round box
Opened
2" diameter cocobolo wood box with curved outside, wide base and overhang lid
 
1" tall
$24

2" diameter and 1 1/2" tall
Opened
2" diameter cocobolo wood box with straight outside and flush lid
 
1 1/2" tall
$38

2 3/4" diameter x 1 3/4" tall
Opened
2 3/4" diameter cocobolo wood box with curved outside and lid
 
1 1/2" tall
$44

2 3/4" diameter and 2" tall
Opened
2 3/4" diameter cocobolo wood box with straight outside and lid
 
2" tall
Sorry, no longer available

3" diameter and 1" tall
Opened
3" diameter cocobolo wood box with curved outside, wide base and overhang lid
 
1" tall
$34

Chest shape
Opened
Chest shaped cocobolo wood box with curved lid
  3 1/4" wide x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4
"
$60

Nested chest
                    shape boxes

Opened
Opened
Four separated
Four nested chest shaped cocobolo wood boxes with curved lids
  Largest is 3 1/4" wide x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4
"
Smallest is 1" wide and 3/4" tall

$140

5" round box
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  5" tall and 3 1/2" diameter

Sorry, sold for $56

4" tall vessel
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  4" tall and 3" diameter

Sorry, sold for $50


3 3/4" tall vessel
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  3 3/4" tall and 2 3/4" diameter

$46

3 1/2" tall vessel
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  3 1/2" tall and 2 1/4" diameter

$42


3" tall vessel
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  3" tall and 2 1/4" diameter

$40

3 x 2 1/8" vessel
Round cocobolo wood vessel with stand and lid with handle
  3" tall and 2 1/8" diameter

$40
Raw block
Solid block of cocobolo wood before
being shaped and finished into a vessel as shown above

Card case
Cocobolo case to hold your business cards and credit cards
  2 5/8 x 4" and 7/16" thick
$60

A
Cocobolo wood bowl A
  7 5/8" long x 6 3/4" wide x 3 3/4" tall

$150

A
Cocobolo wood bowl A (side view)
B
Cocobolo wood bowl B
  6 7/8" long x 6" wide x 3 1/8" tall

$130

B
Cocobolo wood bowl B (side view)
C
Cocobolo wood bowl C
  6 1/2" long x 5 3/4" wide x 2 7/8" tall

$120

C
Cocobolo wood bowl C (side view)
D
Cocobolo wood bowl D
  6 3/4" long x 5 7/8" wide x 3" tall

$120

D
Cocobolo wood bowl D (side view)
E
Cocobolo wood bowl E
  6 7/8" long x 5 5/8" wide x 3 1/8" tall

$130

E
Cocobolo wood bowl E (side view)
F
Cocobolo wood bowl F
  7 1/2" long x 6 5/8" wide x 2 3/4" tall

$130

F
Cocobolo wood bowl F (side view)
G
Cocobolo wood bowl G
  7 1/8" long x 6 5/8" wide x 4" tall

$140

G
Cocobolo wood bowl G (side view)
H
Cocobolo wood bowl H
  7 1/2" long x 7" wide x 4" tall

$150

H
Cocobolo wood bowl H (side view)
I
Cocobolo wood bowl I
  7 1/2" long x 6 1/2" wide x 4 1/8" tall

$150

I
Cocobolo wood bowl I (side view)
J
Cocobolo wood bowl J
  7" long x 6" wide x 4 1/8" tall

$140

J
Cocobolo wood bowl J (side view)
K
Cocobolo wood bowl K
  7 1/8" long x 6" wide x 3 1/2" tall

Sorry, sold for $120

K
Cocobolo wood bowl K (side view)
L
Cocobolo wood bowl L
  7 1/8" long x 6 3/8" wide x 4 1/8" tall

$140

L
Cocobolo wood bowl L (side view)
M
Cocobolo wood bowl M
  7" long x 6 3/4" wide x 4" tall

$150

M
Cocobolo wood bowl M (side view)
N
Cocobolo wood bowl N
  7" long x 6 1/8" wide x 4" tall

$140

N
Cocobolo wood bowl N (side view)
Small bowl
Costa Rican wood bowl
  7" long x 6 1/2" wide x 3 3/8" tall

$120


Small bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 1/2" long x 6 3/8" wide x 3 1/8" tall

$120

8 5/8" bowl
Ron-ron wood bowl
  8 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 3 1/2"
$110
Ron-ron is a plantation grown Costa Rican wood (also known as goncalo alves) highly prized for its density, strength, dark veins,  moisture resistance and strength.  This deep bowl has a high luster polished finish.

Large bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  9 1/4" long x 7 7/8" wide x 4 1/2" tall

Sorry, sold for $150
Small bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  9" long x 7" wide x 3 3/8" tall

  $150

Large bowl
Costa Rican wood bowl
  9 1/2" long x 9" wide x 5 1/4" tall

Sorry, sold for $180
Small bowl
Costa Rican wood bowl
  7" long x 6" wide x 4" tall

Sorry, sold for $120

Small bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 1/2" long x 6 1/8" wide x 3 3/8" tall

Sorry, sold for $120

Small bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7" long x 6 1/8" wide x 3" tall

Sorry, sold for $120

Small bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 1/4" long x 6" wide x 3" tall

Sorry, sold for $120
Large bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 3/4" long x 6 1/2" wide x 3 7/8" tall
Sorry, sold for $120

Large bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  9 1/4" long x 7 1/2" wide x 3" tall

Sorry, sold for $150
Large bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  9" long x 7" wide x 3 5/8" tall

Sorry, sold for $150

Large bowl
Cocobolo wood bowl
  9 1/8" long x 7 1/2" wide x 4 3/4" tall

Sorry, sold for $150


A message from gallery owner Roy Saper
(Skip this, show me the boxes below)

In early 2011 my son, Jay, and I visited Costa Rica to seek out the best craftsmen of wooden boxes.  What excited us about the wood workers in Costa Rica is that they used their native exotic cocobolo wood, a close cousin to and often mistaken for Brazilian rosewood.  Cocobolo is one of the most expensive woods to purchase and at 65 pounds per cubic foot it is twice the weight of cherry and so dense that it sinks rather than floats.  The wood is used for gunstocks and knife handles (as the natural oils in the wood serve as a barrier to water absorption).  It is so hard that it easily and quickly dulls cutting tools. 

As you can see from the photos below, the heartwood of the cocobolo tree is a beautiful rich color with exquisite grain and it polishes to a beautiful luster, in part due to its natural oils.  The incredibly beautiful boxes that Jay and I hand-selected from the artist workshops are from cocobolo trees harvested per special permit issued by the Costa Rican government.  In Costa Rica there are managed tree farms that grow the cocobolo to ensure that sustainable practices provide a continued supply of the exotic wood.   Outside the workshops we saw cut cocobolo trees that would some day become boxes like these that we were so excited to discover and bring back home to Saper Galleries for you to enjoy.

Note that these boxes are solid cocobolo, not a thin veneer on a less expensive wood.  The inside bottom of each box is covered with a black padded material.  The interior sides are of the same quality, finely sanded smooth finish as the exterior.  The larger boxes are spline joined at the corners to ensure perfect joints (and also in that it is difficult for glues to hold due to the natural oils in the wood).  Jay and I marveled while watching box lids being individually and literally hand sanded with small pieces of sand paper, a laborious, slow process that produced mounds of saw dust as each piece was treated with care and pride.

As you have any questions about these cocobolo wooden boxes please call or email us now.  If you want a unique gift for yourself or others you know, I guarantee you will enjoy and share in our excitement about  the cocobolo wood boxes from Costa Rica.  These are not the wooden boxes you see at art fairs.  These are for the discerning collector who appreciates the exotic hardwood unique to the Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica and who loves the design, finish, feel, quality and beauty of cocobolo. 

Enjoy!
Roy with
                  Costa Rican artist
Roy with one of the artists after he and photographer Jay hand-selected dozens of cocobolo wood boxes from the workshop in Costa Rica.


Cocobolo trees
This stack of cocobolo wood is destined to be made into the boxes you see in the photos below!  Note the heartwood center surrounded by the lighter color sapwood.  The boxes we selected are all from the dark, richer heartwood with some displaying highlights of the lighter color sapwood.

The boxes shown below are from the 2011 collection.  Supply is very limited.  Those that are sold out are so indicated.

Round wide box
Cocobolo wood shallow round box with wide lid
6 round x 2 3/4" tall
$82

Shallow round vase
Cocobolo wood shallow round box with lid
  4 1/2 round x 3 1/8" tall
$66

Sqaure tray
Cocobolo wood tray
5 1/2 square x 1 1/4" tall
$46
Long Tray
Cocobolo wood tray
  6 x 3 3/8 x 1 1/8" tall
$28
The two cocobolo wood trays shown above can hold your coins, keys, glasses, contact lens case or be used for
serving appetizers and other food items.  They would also be beautiful on an office desk as a work of art!

4x4
4x4
Cocobolo wood square box with long handle
4 x 4 x 1 1/2"
Sorry, sold out at $44

4 x 7 1/8 x 1 5/8
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box with long handle
  4 x 7 1/8 x 1 5/8"
Sorry, sold out at $84

4 3/4 x 8 1/2 x 2
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box with offset long handle
4 3/4 X 8 1/2 X 2"
Sorry, sold out at $112

5 x5 x
                    2
Open
Cocobolo wood square box with convex lid
5 x 5 x 2"
Sorry, sold out at $78

4
                    3/4 x 7 1/4 x 2
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box with convex lid
 
4 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 2"
Sorry, sold out at $98

5 x 5 x 2
Open
Cocobolo wood square box with chamfered lid
5 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 1 5/8"
Sorry, sold out at $78

5 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 1 1/2
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box with chamfered lid
5 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 1 1/2"
Sorry, sold out at $88

5 5/8 x 10 3/8 x 2
                  1/4
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box with chamfered lid with arc handle and three compartments
5 5/8 x 10 3/8 x 2 1/4"
Sorry, sold for $156

5 7 1/8 x 1 7/8
Open
Cocobolo wood wide box in book shape
  5 X 7 1/8 x 1 7/8"
Sorry, sold for $112

Round box with lid
Cocobolo wood round box with convex lid
5 1/4 round x 1 7/8" tall
Sorry, sold for $64

Tall round box
Cocobolo wood tall round box with lid
5 1/2 round x 4 1/2" tall
Sorry, sold for $88
7 1/2" tray
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 2 1/8"
Sorry, sold for $120

8" tray
Cocobolo wood bowl
  8 x 7 1/2 x 3 1/2"
Sorry, sold for $180

6x2 tray
Cocobolo wood tray
  6 x 4 3/8 x 2"
Sorry, sold for $74

6 3/4" tray
Cocobolo wood bowl
  6 3/4 x 5 5/8 x 2 1/4"
Sorry, sold for $110

7 1/2" tray
Cocobolo wood bowl
  7 x 7 x 2 3/4"
Sorry, sold for $120



Enjoy the photos below of the Costa Rican wood workshops
Raw logs before milling
Raw logs before milling
Wooden pieces for making small boxes
Raw logs and trimmed wooden blocks before being shaped

Wooded blocks
Workshop view
Workshop view
Views of the largest workshop that we discovered in 2011 and revisited in 2013 (with the same guard dog!)

Outside workshop
View outside of that large workshop

Inside workshop
Inside another workshop
Outside workshop
And view outside that workshop
Inside workshop
Logs awaiting transformation

Outside workshop
Wood sorted and stored outside one of the workshops

Wood block on lathe
Block of wood ready to be turned on a lathe

Work turning tools
Tools used for shaping wood turned on lathe

Sanding by hand
Hand sanding each component of every box
Future workshop
Structure to be future workshop near one wood worker's home

You may also enjoy the wooden boxes by artists Monica Martinez.

Home       About       Inventory       Contact       Testimonials       Chat Live Now

Return to the top of this page

 Saper Galleries....where excellence is the standard!
 
 
                  

433 Albert Avenue       East Lansing, Michigan 48823 USA       TOLL FREE now: (877)537-5251     (517)351-0815