Undoubtedly the most elegant desk organiser ever conceived, the Shkatulka modular casket was created by Lesha Galkin for the Izba group exhibition at the Milan Design Week in 2014. Shkatulka is made entirely of natural materials — carved marble covers along with a wooden box — and the set is a marvel of craftsmanship.
The Shkatulka desk organiser is primarily designed for traditional pen and paper stationary, with a corrugated marble surface intended to stop pencils rolling away, and rows of holes made to hold a series of wooden pegs which in turn keep papers and books standing upright. Inside, there are two further containers, one cylindrical marble capsule, and another wooden box with marble lid which has a square grid scored into its surface.
Shkatulka translates from Russian into English as ‘casket’ and this remarkable object bears a feature often found on traditional and ancient Russian chests: a secret opening mechanism. Originally intended to hide treasure from marauding brigands, this kind of mechanism is perhaps not such a necessity for a desk organiser — although it could of course deter those pesky pen thieves.
In the case of Lesha Galkin’s storage kit, a seemingly fixed wooden section on the side of the box releases a clasp which holds the marble lid in place when slid. This animated gif demonstrates the inner workings behind this catch.
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