An excellent example of an actual "treasure chest" from the 17th century, this heavy iron strong box possesses artistic touches and fine patina which enrich its presence. Made of the heaviest iron construction by European craftsmen, these chests were sold to the sailing nations, including Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and England. Used to transport and secure gold, silver, documents and other valuables, once loaded and locked, this chest would have been incredibly difficult to move.
A striking green exterior is topped by strapping and bolts in dark bronze, with small touches of other remaining paint details which once must have covered the chest. An elaborate Gothic escutcheon sits on the face, luring potential thieves to waste time on the false lock it decorates. On either side are large vertical iron hasps which would allow for two additional padlocks. The real lock sits hidden under an iron swivel plate in the center of the lid. A turn of the large key releases the ten bolt mechanism which is the chest's primary security. Heavy twisted iron beckets at each end had to have been hand-forged by a master iron smith.
The interior of the chest holds another locked compartment for items of even greater value. Unfortunately we do not have a key for this compartment, so it remains unopened. The interior locking mechanism is covered by an intricate scroll-cut panel that features mermaids on either side with two sea monsters back to back in the center, their tails entwining in great swirls. Once a portable safe, this box is now itself a treasure.
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