This formidable 16th-century iron-bound box, dated 1566, is a German made Armada chest with original working lock mechanism and polychrome decorated exterior.
The likelihood of ever penetrating this forbidding behemoth without following the proper protocol would be dubious at best. Locking or unlocking the chest first requires the spring-loaded keyhole cover to be unlatched but locating the hidden keyhole switch is enough to thwart even the most determined opportunist. The switch is disguised as another iron hobnail, of which there are many, and until the correct one is pushed the key-hole will remain inaccessible. With the cover released and the key inserted, a clockwise rotation will throw a series of driver pins and engage or disengage a total of eight large deadbolts, four on the front, and two on each side. The sound of pins striking bolts, each snapping firmly into place, is confirmation of a successful operation. Not until the lid has been raised and propped on its iron support can one begin to understand or appreciate the expertly engineered components that drive this 500 year old warded lock. This complex mechanism, though perfectly visible from all sides, remains concealed behind the original, unmolested hand-painted iron panel, featuring a heraldic shield held by two regal lions before a verdant landscape.
Dimensions: 38 inches long x 23 inches deep x 19 inches high.
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Colonial Arts | 151 Vermont Street Street, Suite 6 | San Francisco, CA., 94103 | www.colonialarts.com