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Voice modifier
MFA# 17.2003


A dense, pale yellow wood from boxwood trees primarily of the genus Buxus. Although difficult to carve, the wood has excellent dimensional stability and is very wear resistant. The hard, fine-grain wood is often used for printing blocks, rulers, mallets, architects scales, slide rules, modeling tools and musical instruments. Boxwood is also used for small decorative items, inlays, games and engravings. Turkish boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, is favored for engraving blocks. Some other varieties are:

- Buxus japonica: Japanese boxwood

- Buxus macowanii: African boxwood or cape boxwood

- Buxus microphylla: Formosa boxwood

- Buxus sempervirens: Turkish boxwood or common boxwood

- Buxus balearica: Balearic boxwood or Minorca boxwood

- Gonioma kamassi: kamassi boxwood

Egyptian sculpture
MFA# 48.296

Synonyms and Related Terms

Japanese boxwood (Buxus japonica); African boxwood or cape boxwood (Buxus macowanii); Formosa boxwood (Buxus microphylla); Turkish boxwood or common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens); Balearic boxwood or Minorca boxwood (Buxus balearica); kamassi boxwood (Gonioma kamassi); buksbom-slægten (Dan.); Buchsbaum (Deut.); buis (Fr.); buxus (It., Ned.); buxo (Port.); boj (Esp.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Density 52-72 ppcf

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 113
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965 Comment: 52-62 ppcf
  • Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Paul Nicholson, Ian Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 Comment: R.Gale, P.Gasson, N.Hepper, G.Killen, "Wood", p. 334-371.
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=59-72 ppcf (0.95-1.16 g/cm3)