Two heavy hallmarked cylindrical silver boxes

I have nearly finished two small but heavy hallmarked silver boxes. One box is in fine silver, the other in Britannia silver, both have domed lids with fine silver filigree wire decoration. In addition each box has two bands of fine silver filigree wire round the sides as in the picture below. They await final polishing, and addition of colour in some form; either enamel, or stone setting.

Hallmarked silver round box with filigree lid and body decoration

The picture below shows a single filigree unit used for the lid decoration, consisting of 3 'C' shapes in 0.8mm fine silver wire, soldered with hard solder into a circle of the same wire.  This is followed by a picture of three of these units soldered together, again using hard solder.

Fine silver filigree circle decoration Fine silver filigree 3-circle decoration

Next follows two pictures of the domed silver tops with the filigree soldered in place using easy solder.  The second one (fine silver) has a red heart-shaped CZ stone in place awaiting setting.

Britannia silver domed lid with fine silver filigree decoration Fine silver domed lid with fine silver filigree decoration


Round brass box waiting on an idea

The first picture is a side view of the box, about 40mm diameter, showing the domed top and base, and the two filigree bands round the sides (the colours are my mobile's hilarious attempt at colour balancing, coupled with reflections). The second picture shows the top view, and the 1.5mm brass wire filigree decoration of spirals. I made the box of brass because I was tired of the rapid tarnishing of gilding metal. Polishing of the top using a conventional mop on a polishing motor was problematic, and I regard it as an unsolved problem for another day. Oh, and the idea the box is waiting on is 'what to do about the domed base?'. I made a domed base on a whim, and now somewhat regret it. In the photo, it is shown resting on the usual inverted saucer with a central hole, which turns it into a sort of lidded goblet.

Brass round box with filigree lid decoration Brass round box with filigree lid decoration


The Britannia silver version round box

After the variously successful gilding metal versions, I decided to splash out £110 on 1.2mm Britannia silver sheet (for the outer barrel, dome and base) and 0.8mm sheet (for the inner bezel barrel). I had decided on probably two fine silver filigree bands as decoration. However the right-hand picture below shows the effect with an extra filigree band on the base, to exploit the fact that I had additional height in the inner bezel to exploit. But it is quite likely that I will roll some more filigree, in a much wider band, and use that for two bands as in the first picture. The box currently weighs about 140gm, and feels distinctly heavy (too heavy most likely, unless you are Royalty and used to such things). So if I make a future box, I will almost certainly scale the gauge down, or the size of the box up. In any case, there are a couple of unresolved issues; soldering of barrel to bezel without flooding the lower filigree ring, and removal of an unfortunate couple of deep scratches caused by being clumsy with a coarse file. And final sanding and polishing will likely highlight other defects!

Britannia silver box with filigree Britannia silver box with filigree

A return to round boxes; the gilding metal versions

I made a gilding metal round box to remind me of the process, last done some 4 years ago. By way of variation I domed the lid, and added a single band of fine silver filigree round the closing line of lid and box. The two pictures on the left are of this box, both with lid in place, and lid separated from box.

Gilding metal box with filigree Gilding metal box with filigree Gilding metal box with filigree Gilding metal box with filigree

I then made a second box but this time designed to take a filigree band both round the base and round the closing line. To make this possible, I soldered the base of the box to the inner bezel (which runs full-length of the box), the filigree band was threaded onto this, then the barrel of the box followed next. Another band of filigree on the bezel, then the lid part of the barrel closes over the remaining part of the bezel. The two right-hand pictures show this box, but without the upper filigree band in place. The box is still awaiting filing to clean away excess silver solder etc.


A little of what you filigree does you fancy

I had never intended my small-footprint, tall, heavy-gauge boxes to be plain on the outside, but equally had not determined precisely what decoration to use. Filigree was one of the possibilities, and to this end I shaped some 1.2mm round bronze wire into spirals and soldered them to all four sides of the least-worthy square box, using it as a test bed as it were. The box is silicon bronze 20x20x70mm, with a wall thickness of 1.67mm and weighing 170gm.

Bronze box with filigree

The final result was nothing like I expected; it was quite rythmic and reminded me of something jazzy from the 1920's, which certainly wasn't my intention, and I haven't even started putting wire on the lid section. I will probably try reducing the gauge of wire (although it will make life more difficult when soldering, to avoid melting it), and maybe doing mock-ups using superglue.

Bronze box with filigree

The picture above was a tentative design for a smaller phosphor bronze square-footprint box (still in the same heavy-gauge 1.67mm metal), not soldered. The box in any case has a decoration of small filed indentations down all four sides, which are very appealing whilst they retain their polish (not for long in other words with a copper alloy).