This sovereign case is veneered with richly figured thuya - unusually coming from the underground root burr of a softwood, the pencil cedar. Although this comes from what is technically a softwood, it is one of the hardest and most brittle of veneers - requiring extreme care to work it neatly. It was particularly challenging on this occasion as there was no inlay around the edges - so it wasn’t possible to cover up any chipping of the veneers at the edges.
This case is about 12” square, the veneer is book matched and the exterior is French polished.
Unusually the front of this case folds down to reveal the interior. The five drawers contain sets of sovereigns - half, one, two, and five sovereign pieces from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II - an incomplete set as yet, of course.
The only external decoration, apart from the stunning veneer of course, is this inlaid image of St George. This is done mostly using satinwood, with varying grain directions to give a feeling of real movement.
The shield also features an unnamed extremely hard and slow growing Australian timber - it is a wonderful golden colour and has an exceptionally fine flame figure.