Had a 112 yr old cigar box given to me that I want to turn into a CBG. 

So...  Its beat up some but the repairs will be simple, which leads me to ask how much cleanup on the box should I do???  Should I preserve it with a coat of lacquer (very light spray on) or leave it as is.  Not sure how rare the box is or the value either which it might be better to not to mettle with, dunno, asking for suggestions there to.

I was thinking of making it mainly a wall hanger mostly.  Minimal cutting on the box then building the neck and distressing it to look as old as possible.  Open to ideas....  Thx in advance.

Left side

Lid top

Inside top lid

Right side


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in that condition . i  say    build with it  .  in keeping  with authenticity ,maybe  use an equally  old  neck   ie:canoe  paddle is a good choice  , they are everywhere  and  usually  very  old  ..   i  used  one  on a 107  year  old  box  , the paddle  is 100  years  old  . you  may  also  want  to  keep  it  a  1 stringer    for  less strain , and  it  fits  the   traditional  oldie staple . 

here's what i  did  with mine 

107 year old charmer 2

107 year old charmer 3

yes ,, i added that and  faderd  it  ;-) Titanic mojo  ;-)

107 year old charmer 5

THAT is straight up awesome and I love the mojo...  I trust thats a keeper too...

actually  . i  gifted  it to  uncle  john  ;-) 

97,024 thumbs up...  I'd have given more but its all I had left...  :)

dammit , i  needed  one  more to  get the free X-ray specs ;-)

   but  thanx  ;-)

I've seen antique cigar boxes of that era bring pretty good money on eBAY.

On the other hand, of course, your box certainly isn't in great condition, so if you don't mind investing the time, labor, and money, you could make a cbg out of it- an interesting wall-hanger, perhaps, or one that could be sold for... well, some money. Maybe.

Anyway, regarding 'fixing' or preserving the box, if you plan to keep it as art or sell it, I'd recommend not touching it: leave it in its present condition. Very cool piece. Personally, I'd just appreciate/enjoy it, as-is.

As always, YMMV..

OK, I'm one of those people who cringe when I see a real antique being modified. You can always make CBGs. You'll only get one of those. 

Cheat! Take really good pictures of it. All sides. Make a box that size. Then paste the pictures to it. Now you can have your cake and eat it too! The box will be sturdy and still one of a kind. 

I hear you on the, do I make a cbg or leave it... 

The side 'labels' are actually stamped as is the label on the bottom. So pictures, even very good ones just won't look the same.  The one end has the label torn away and I was thinking it was the perfect spot to put a neck thru just because the labels missing there. 

I did a bit of looking around too, just to see if I could get an idea whether it'd be more valuable as is or not.  What I found was there are older boxes and in far better condition than this one and they were selling for approx $250 - 600 dollars.  Some just as old and in better condition going for under $100.  So I was thinking it would be cooler to extend its life being useful and more visible as opposed to a mantle piece. 

 Cool box !   I wouldn't lacquer it.   I would go for the 100 year old CBG, found in a barn, look .   Wipe some red paint on the neck (i'm sorry i'm guessing thats the color on the box) and wipe off the paint so it is just left in the grain. Distress the neck , maybe start with a weathered board.     100 year old tuners would be sweet.  Bone or wood bridge , old key etc.......   Bone nut.    I would make it a player ,suitable for hanging on a wall.  As I would have to find out what songs are in that box !  

I love Anon's old cbg with the oar, thats awesome.  But yeah its exactly what I was thinking, build the neck, distress it to look old or as close to the age of the box as possible.  Aging bone for nut and bridge, don't have an old key or otherwise I would go that route.

I was thinking of a very light coat of lacquer just because the paper is very thin and brittle.  Just handling it causes paper to fall away so I can't handle it much.  Wall hanger or player?!?!?  What else could be used to preserve the paper and still make it safe to handle??

This is an awesome box!  Reading the other comments, I agree with finding an old piece of wood - flooring or barnwood or broken old furniture for a neck would be perfect for this box.  Also agree with you that a matte spray varnish would help keep things intact and not detract from the appearance.  Only thing I would question is the wall hanger part, primitive but playable would be my personal choice.

I've looked about the countryside for an old oar or furniture bits but nothing around.  So I've decided to build a neck and age it as best I can.  Found the vinegar steel wool method people use and think I'll give it a try.  I also gave the box a light coat of matte clearcoat to fix the paper to the box.  Its darkened the wood slightly but looks better overall.  

Any tips on 'aging' that might be good? 


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